Verizon Earns FCC Approval To Offer Long-Distance Service to Maine Consumers

WASHINGTON -- Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) today received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer long-distance service in Maine. The company said it would launch its competitive, easy-to-use calling plans in Maine shortly.

"This clears the way for consumers and businesses in Maine to select all their telecommunications services from Verizon, a company they know and trust," said Ed Dinan, president of Verizon Maine.

Maine is the seventh state in the Northeast for which Verizon has received the federal approval required by the 1996 Telecommunications Act to offer long-distance service. In New England, the company now offers long-distance service in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont and expects to file for FCC approval for New Hampshire by the end of this month.

"Today's approval takes Maine to a new level of telecom competition," Dinan said. "The marketplace will heat up as competitors continue to hone their offerings to enter the local market, while Verizon begins to compete for long-distance customers. Consumers, of course, will be the big winners."

In Northeast states where Verizon offers long-distance, residential consumers already have saved more than $1.8 billion on their local and long-distance bills, according to studies analyzed by Verizon. For more information on Verizon's long-distance offerings, visit the company's Web site at www.verizonld.com.

"Verizon will offer Maine residents a menu of long-distance services that provide great value," said Jill Wagner, vice president of consumer marketing for Verizon's retail markets operation. "We plan to help our customers harness the power of telecommunications with one supplier, one bill and easy-to-understand service packages that meet their individual requirements."

"Today's decision helps level the competitive playing field," said Dinan. "Until today, Verizon was the only competitor in Maine that couldn't offer customers services to meet all their telecommunications needs -- local, regional, long-distance voice and data."

Verizon currently has a long-distance application pending at the FCC for New Jersey. Verizon offers long-distance service in 42 states nationwide and has 8.2 million long-distance customers. Verizon 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 is the largest phone company in the United States and the nation's largest wireless company, with 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.