Verizon Launches Long Distance in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Verizon launched long-distance service in West Virginia today with a solid competitive punch -- an unlimited residential calling plan covering all direct-dialed domestic calls. The company also unveiled several other long-distance calling plans for both residence and business customers.

The launch of long-distance service in West Virginia completes Verizon's seven-year effort to gain Federal Communications Commission approval to offer long-distance service in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Verizon Long Distance -- with more than 13 million long-distance lines -- earlier this year surpassed Sprint as the nation's third-largest long-distance carrier for consumers.

"West Virginia consumers and businesses now can work with Verizon for all their local, regional, long-distance, dial-up and high-speed Internet communications needs," said Gale Given, president of Verizon West Virginia. "Verizon's entry into the long-distance market in the Mountain State will bring our customers more choice, savings, quality and innovation."

The unlimited calling plan, Verizon Freedomsm, includes all direct-dialed domestic calls -- local, regional and long-distance -- as well as calls to Canada and U.S. territories. Customers have the freedom to call anytime, anywhere without time restrictions -- and for one monthly price. The package also includes, at no extra charge, five of Verizon's most popular call-management features: Home Voice Mail, Caller ID, Call Waiting, Three-Way Calling and Speed Dialing of eight numbers. The monthly price is $59.95, plus applicable state and local taxes.

"Consumer response to the launch of our Verizon Freedom packages elsewhere in the country has been tremendous," said Maura Breen, chief marketing officer for Verizon. "There is an obvious pent-up demand for the simplicity and value that Verizon Freedom offers, and now West Virginians can enjoy these same unlimited benefits."

Verizon also offers an assortment of long-distance plans designed for domestic and international calling, as well as calling cards and a host of other products and packages for both consumers and businesses. Some plans enable customers to buy long-distance in bulk minutes and others offer a great, competitive per-minute rate for a low monthly fee. (See accompanying product sheets for more detail on these offerings.)

Verizon Calling Plans Meet Needs of Smallest to Largest Businesses

Verizon offers several other calling plans for small, medium-sized and large businesses in West Virginia that allow these customers to customize their communications service.

Small and medium-sized businesses can enjoy the simplicity of bundled packages of local, regional and long-distance services, all on one bill and with just one place to call to order both voice and data communications.

For large businesses, colleges and universities and government agencies, Verizon Select Services, a specialized business unit, offers three competitively priced domestic long-distance calling plans, as well as inbound and outbound international service, domestic and international toll-free services and calling cards.

"Verizon offers the full choice of telecommunications services and the dependability that today's large business customers require," said Edward F. McGuinness, senior vice president --marketing for Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group. "Many of our customers have been waiting for the day when they can consolidate their voice, data, local and long-distance services end-to-end with one trusted brand. In West Virginia, that day has arrived."

Verizon Select Services provides a comprehensive selection of long distance data transport products, including private line, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and frame relay services for enterprise customers.

Residence customers and small and medium-sized businesses can sign up for Verizon long-distance service on the company's Web site at www.verizonld.com or by calling their local Verizon business office. Enterprise customers should contact their account manager, or visit www.verizon.com/enterprisesolutions.

A Fortune 10 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 136.6 million access line equivalents and
33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.


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