Verizon Freedom Rings Up Unlimited Usage, Fixed-Fee Packages for Small Businesses in Greater Tampa Bay Area

TAMPA, Fla. - Verizon is freeing small businesses in the Greater Tampa Bay area from per-minute usage charges and unpredictable telecommunications bills by introducing Verizon Freedom for Business, a calling package that offers unlimited usage for a fixed monthly fee. This package includes unlimited direct-dialed local, regional and domestic long-distance calls, with options for significant discounts on toll-free service and feature packages -- all on one convenient bill.

The new Freedom for Business package is part of Verizon's strategy to better serve small businesses by delivering products and services specifically designed to meet the needs of these businesses. It is a strategy that is resonating with small-business customers. Since the package's introduction elsewhere in May 2003, approximately 500,000 customers have signed up.

Verizon Freedom for Business elminates the per-minute usage fees associated with business calls. The flat monthly rate gives small businesses the predictability they need to accurately budget their telecommunications costs, and enables them to save money as well.

"This is not a temporary promotion. Eliminating usage charges is a fundamental change in the way we do business," said Chris McKay, Verizon's executive director-business marketing. "We don't want customers to have to think about the costs associated with making business calls. And we know they would rather be growing their business than spending time each month reviewing the charges on their bill."

Value, Simplicity, Flexibility Equal Freedom for Small Businesses

Verizon Freedom for Business includes unlimited direct-dialed local, regional and domestic long-distance, billed on ONE-BILL, for $32 a month in Florida, plus approximately $30 in local line charges. Verizon ONE-BILL consolidates charges for the company's local, long-distance, wireless, DSL and other optional services. Long-term commitments are optional for Verizon Freedom for Business and feature rates as low as $27 a month. Taxes and fees may apply.

"Designed for small businesses with up to 10 lines, Verizon Freedom for Business offers unprecedented flexibility at very competitive rates, easy to understand packages and the convenience of getting all the charges on one bill," said McKay.

The Verizon Freedom for Business package also qualifies customers for additional discounts on the most popular services for small business including inbound toll-free calls at 6 cents per minute and deeply discounted feature packages.

In addition to the six counties in west central Florida served by Verizon (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Pasco and Polk), Verizon Freedom for Business is also available in California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington, D.C. For additional information, customers can visit the Verizon Web site at www.verizon.com/verizonfreedomforbusiness, or call Verizon at 1-866-424-6659.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. With a diverse work force of approximately 208,000, Verizon has four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband, nationwide long-distance and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.