Verizon, New York DPS Reach Agreement On New Regulatory Plan

ALBANY, N.Y. - In a joint filing, Verizon and the New York Department of Public Service staff are proposing a new regulatory plan that provides pricing flexibility, sets limits on rate increases and continues commitments to high standards of service quality. The plan still must be approved by the state Public Service Commission.

"This is a pro-competitive plan that lets Verizon respond to one of the most competitive telecommunications markets in the country," said Paul A. Crotty, president of Verizon New York "It gives Verizon the ability to continue to provide the latest technologies and top quality service."

Under the plan, Verizon is allowed to adjust rates up or down so long as any overall increase is limited to a maximum of 3 percent of annual, intrastate revenues in New York. Any increase in basic service would be limited to $1.85 in the first year and 65 cents in the second year.

The new regulatory agreement also includes provisions that insure Verizon's customers in New York will continue to receive the highest quality service. Verizon's service quality standards in New York have been and will continue to be among the toughest in the industry.

"What we have agreed to is a plan that recognizes Verizon's need to price products and services according to the demands of our market in New York," Crotty said. "It allows us greater flexibility in meeting challenges from both traditional and non-traditional competitors, including cellular, cable telephony and electronic messaging providers."

Crotty said the new plan would allow Verizon to respond more quickly to fast-changing marketplace conditions and develop new calling plans and attractive bundles of wireline, wireless and broadband services.

In May 2001 Verizon proposed a three-year agreement that would increase pricing flexibility 2.5 percent annually.

"The price of basic service in New York has not increased and, in fact has gone down, over the last 11 years," said Crotty.

The proposed plan would have no impact on New Yorkers who are least able to pay because the price of Lifeline, the discounted service for eligible low-income New Yorkers, would remain as low as $1 a month.

Verizon has invested more than $10 billion over the last six years in new services and technologies for New York customers. The company is the largest private employer in the state with nearly 41,000 employees and is one of the state's largest taxpayers.

Verizon Communications

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 132.1 million access line equivalents and 29.4 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 247,000 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.