Verizon Freedom Rings Up Unlimited Usage, Fixed-Fee Packages for Small Businesses in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Verizon is freeing small businesses in Rhode Island from per- minute usage charges and unpredictable telecommunications bills by introducing Verizon FreedomSM 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, high-speed DSL, Internet access and wireless services -- all on one convenient bill.

The new 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. For example, more than 185,000 business customers have signed up for Freedom packages since they were introduced in May 2003.

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. It has proved very popular in the states where it has been introduced, surpassing company expectations.

"This is not a temporary promotion. Eliminating usage charges is a fundamental change in the way we do business," said Mike Hassett, Verizon's vice president for 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-BILLsm, for $38 in Rhode Island, plus approximately $18 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 not required for Verizon Freedom for Business, nor is there an expiration date. 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 bundles and the convenience of getting all the charges on one bill," said Hassett.

The Verizon Freedom for Business package also qualifies customers for additional discounts on the most popular services for small business. Optional bundles include a 20 percent discount on DSL, a 10 percent discount on wireless, and inbound toll-free calls at 6 cents per minute. Since May, approximately 14 percent of the customers opting for Verizon Freedom for Business also include the DSL option.

Verizon Freedom for Business is also available in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington, D.C. For additional information, customers can visit the Verizon Web site at www.verizon.com/verizonfreedomforbusiness, or call Verizon at

Verizon Communications

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 and 221,000 employees. 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.