BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Verizon Communications will ask the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) Friday for approval to offer a money-saving calling plan with expanded local calling areas to customers in 27 additional exchanges across the state.
Under the extended area calling plan, Verizon North customers would be able to call additional nearby communities without paying long-distance charges. They could call these communities by dialing just seven digits, instead of 1 + 10 digits as they do now. (Note: A list of new local calling areas for customers in these exchanges follows this release.)
"We are continuing to enhance the value of our service," said James R. Hargrave, Verizon assistant vice president - public policy & external affairs for Illinois. "Our new calling plan provides more rate options for our customers and delivers lower-priced calling alternatives."
The new plan would allow residential and business customers to call all communities within the same market service area (MSA) and a 15-mile radius of their own exchange without paying local toll charges. With the proposed calling plan, all such calls would be considered local. If approved by the ICC, the plan will take effect June 19.
With the plan, customers would need to dial 7 digits to reach other numbers within their area code and MSA or 10 digits (area code + telephone number) to all other area codes. Customers will need to reprogram fax machines, PBXs, key systems, alarm systems, medical alert systems, dial-up numbers for Internet access or Custom Calling features to work with the new, shorter telephone numbers.
Verizon is seeking to expand the calling plan to its customers in the following exchanges: Amboy, Ashton, Brocton, Chrisman, Creston, DeKalb, Franklin Grove, Genoa-Kingston, Hinckley, Kirkland, Malta, Maple Park, Marshall, Metcalf, Monroe Center, Mount Morris, Oregon, Paris, Redmon, Rochelle, Shabbona-Lee, Steward, Sublette, Sycamore, Vermilion, Waterman and West Union.
The extended calling plan currently is available to Verizon North customers in 150 exchanges across the state. The company plans to request permission to make the plan available to all Verizon North customers in the state over the next year.
Since GTE and Bell Atlantic merged to become Verizon last June, the company has reduced its local rates in Illinois by more than $10 million. In addition, the company is committed to investing $270 million over three years in its existing telecommunications infrastructure.
Under the new calling plan, local calls to additional nearby communities would be priced at current, local Usage Sensitive Service rates.
Usage Sensitive Service has a $17.09 monthly fee, plus a call-connection charge of 3 cents per call and a 1.8-cents-per-minute calling charge. Costs for calls within the home exchange will remain the same; residential customers currently pay 3.4 -cents per call, with no per-minute calling charges. Business customers currently pay a call-connection charge of 3 cents and a 1.8-cents-per-minute calling charge. These charges are discounted 50 percent on weekends, holidays, and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays.
Residential customers under the extended calling area plan can also select the
11-cents-per-call option. Under this option, they pay a $17.09 monthly fee plus a flat, 11-cents-per-call charge with no per-minute charge for calls to nearby communities. Calls within the home exchange will remain priced at 3.4 cents each, with no per-minute calling charges. These charges also are discounted 50 percent on weekends, holidays and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays.
Details of the proposed calling plan will be provided to Verizon North customers in the 27 additional Illinois exchanges in their bills soon.
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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 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.
Extended Area Service Calling Plan
The listed towns identify telephone exchanges included in Verizon's new calling plan. Because an exchange can include more than one community, customers with telephone prefixes on this chart are included in the offering. New calling areas are in bold type.
Calls from the Amboy exchange (815) 857: Ashton, Dixon, Franklin Grove, Grand Detour, Harmon, Nelson and Sublette.
Calls from the Ashton exchange (815) 843: Amboy, Creston, Dixon, Franklin Grove, Grand Detour, Oregon, Rochelle, Steward and Sublette.
Calls from the Brocton exchange (217) 385: Grandview, Metcalf, Paris and Redmon.
Calls from the Chrisman exchange (217) 269: Metcalf, Paris and Redmon.
Calls from the Creston exchange (815) 384: Ashton, DeKalb, Kirkland, Malta, Monroe Center, Rochelle, Shabbona-Lee, Steward, Sycamore and Waterman.
Calls from the DeKalb exchange (815) 748, 752, 753, 754, 756, 758, 787: Creston, Genoa-Kingston, Hinckley, Kirkland, Malta, Maple Park, Shabbona-Lee, Sycamore and Waterman.
Calls from the Franklin Grove exchange (815) 456: Amboy, Ashton, Dixon, Grand Detour, Oregon, Rochelle, Steward and Sublette.
Calls from the Genoa-Kingston exchange (815) 784: DeKalb, Kirkland, Malta, Maple Park and Sycamore.
Calls from the Hinckley exchange (815) 286: DeKalb, Maple Park, Shabbona-Lee and Waterman.
Calls from the Kirkland exchange (815) 522: Creston, DeKalb, Genoa-Kingston, Malta, Monroe Center and Sycamore.
Calls from the Malta exchange (815) 825: Creston, DeKalb, Genoa-Kingston, Kirkland, Maple Park, Monroe Center, Rochelle, Shabbona-Lee, Steward, Sycamore and Waterman.
Calls from the Maple Park exchange (815) 827: DeKalb, Genoa-Kingston, Hinckley, Malta, Sycamore and Waterman.
Calls from the Marshall exchange (217) 826: Clarksville, Grandview, Paris, Vermilion and West Union.
Calls from the Metcalf exchange (217) 887: Brocton, Chrisman, Paris and Redmon.
Calls from the Monroe Center exchange (815) 393: Creston, Kirkland, Malta and Rochelle.
Calls from the Mount Morris exchange (815) 734: Dixon, Grand Detour, Leaf River, Oregon and Polo.
Calls from the Oregon exchange (815) 732: Ashton, Dixon, Franklin Grove, Grand Detour, Leaf River, Mount Morris, Polo and Rochelle.
Calls from the Paris exchange (217) 463, 465, 466: Brocton, Chrisman, Clarksville, Grandview, Marshall, Metcalf, Redmon and Vermilion.
Calls from the Redmon exchange (217) 884: Brocton, Chrisman, Clarksville, Grandview, Metcalf and Paris.
Calls from the Rochelle exchange (815) 561, 562: Ashton, Creston, Franklin Grove, Malta, Monroe Center, Oregon, Shabbona-Lee and Steward.
Calls from the Shabbona-Lee exchange (815) 824: Creston, DeKalb, Hinckley, Malta, Rochelle, Steward and Waterman.
Calls from the Steward exchange (815) 396: Ashton, Creston, Franklin Grove, Malta, Rochelle, Shabbona-Lee and Waterman.
Calls from the Sublette exchange (815) 849: Amboy, Ashton and Franklin Grove.
Calls from the Sycamore exchange (815) 895, 899: Creston, DeKalb, Genoa-Kingston, Kirkland, Malta, Maple Park.
Calls from the Vermilion exchange (217) 275: Clarksville, Grandview, Marshall and Paris.
Calls from the Waterman exchange (815) 264: Creston, DeKalb, Hinckley, Malta, Maple Park, Shabbona-Lee and Steward.
Calls from the West Union exchange (217) 279: Marshall.