Verizon Customers Nationwide Can Pay 5 Cents a Minute for State-to-State Domestic Long-Distance Calls, Any Time

NEW YORK - Starting this week, callers who have a qualified local plan with Verizon can pay just 5 cents a minute for long-distance calling from Verizon Long Distance with no monthly fee.

"The Verizon Five Cents Plan splits the difference between our already reasonable per-minute rates and our Verizon Freedom all-distance, flat-rate plans," said Judy Verses, senior vice president of national marketing for Verizon. "If unlimited calling is more than you need, but you want a bargain on per-minute rates because you have a moderate monthly calling volume, the 5-cent plan will be attractive."

Verizon Long Distance is also reducing the monthly recurring fee on the 5-cent-a-minute calling plan for customers who do not subscribe to a qualified Verizon local plan. The fee will drop from $5.95 to $3.95.

The package-based plan, which waives the monthly long-distance plan fee, is expected to attract more callers onto the Verizon long-distance network and also motivate customers to sign up for the variety of Verizon local and regional calling plans that include local and short-distance calling and, in some cases, call-management services like Caller ID and Call Waiting. The company offers a variety of local calling plans, depending on the area.

Research has found that customers prefer buying all their telecommunications services from a single company and receiving a single bill, an objective Verizon has targeted since entering the long-distance business in 2000.

"Our 5-cent plans suit the needs of moderate-volume callers, giving them a good price for their calling and making the single-supplier, single-bill objective a reality for the consumer," Verses said.

The five-cent rate applies to all direct-dialed state-to-state long-distance calls as well as for calls to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and the Marianas Islands. Prices for in-state long-distance calling vary by state. Verizon Five Cents Plan customers who call internationally can also subscribe to the company's International Choice Plan for low-priced worldwide calling.

In addition, customers can add to their long-distance plan various calling card and away-from-home plans. Offers vary by region.

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 139 million access line equivalents and 36 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with nearly 16 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.