ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The House Environmental Matters Committee of the Maryland General Assembly today held hearings on a number of telecommunications-related bills introduced by Del. Joan Stern (D-Montgomery County). These bills, which are largely being pushed by Verizon's competitors, would reverse the progress made by the Maryland Public Service Commission over the past few years in setting the framework for telecommunications regulation in an increasingly competitive environment in the state. The following statement should be attributed to Sean Looney, director-government affairs for Verizon Maryland:
"These bills are totally unnecessary. They are designed to fix 'problems' that don't exist. They will do nothing to promote meaningful telecommunications competition in Maryland, and they contain no consumer benefits.
"In fact, the only beneficiaries of these bills would be Verizon's competitors, led by WorldCom and AT&T, who are pushing the bills hard to protect their own self interests.
"The Public Service Commission already has the authority -- and the expertise -- to address the issues raised in these bills. And the commission already is moving forward to ensure full telecommunications competition continues to develop in Maryland.
"Verizon urges the Environmental Matters Committee to turn back these bills. That would be the right call for consumers and the future of telecommunications in Maryland."