Verizon Earns FCC Approval to Offer Long-Distance Service in Massachusetts

WASHINGTON -- Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) today received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer

long-distance service in Massachusetts. The company said it will soon launch its simple, easy-to-use calling plans.

"With this ruling, Massachusetts consumers will be able to get full-service telecommunications from Verizon, a company they know and trust," said

Tom Tauke, Verizon senior vice president of public policy & external affairs.

Massachusetts is the second state in which Verizon has received approval as required by the Telecommunications Act to offer long-distance service. In January

2000, Verizon (then Bell Atlantic) was the first regional Bell company allowed to offer long-distance service in its local service area when it won approval to sell

long-distance services in New York.

"Verizon offers dramatic value for consumers not currently subscribing to a long-distance plan," said Robert Mudge, Verizon Massachusetts

president. "The Telecommunications Research and Action Center, an independent watchdog consumer group, estimates that New Yorkers saved $220

million last year after Verizon offered long-distance service in that state."

"Bay Staters already are seeing the benefits of competition for local services," Mudge said. "Our biggest competitors introduced local service

offerings as soon as Verizon applied to the FCC to offer long-distance service in Massachusetts. Consumers and businesses now will have more choice for both

local and long-distance service."

Verizon's competitors in the state now serve more than 850,000 customers.

"There is more competition on a percentage basis in Massachusetts now than there was in New York or Texas when Verizon's and SBC's long-distance

applications were filed for those states," said Tauke.

"Today's decision levels the playing field. Until today, customers could buy all their telecommunications services only from our competitors -- from local

calling and calling services to regional calling, long-distance service, video and data services," said Tauke.

The company expects to hire more than 100 employees this year to serve its new long-distance customers in the state.

In addition to New York, Verizon offers long-distance service in 36 other states, formerly served by GTE Long Distance. On March 5,

Verizon announced that it had five million long-distance customers and is the country's fourth largest long-distance company.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of

wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with nearly 109 million access line equivalents and more than 28 million wireless customers. Verizon

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