Verizon Refiles Long-Distance Application for New Jersey

WASHINGTON -- Verizon today refiled its application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer long-distance service in New Jersey. The company withdrew the application March 19 because of procedural issues, which are resolved with the refiling.

On March 20, Verizon filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) a reduced non-recurring "hot-cut" rate that mirrors the rate established in February as part of a settlement agreement in New York. Hot cuts refer to the procedure to seamlessly disconnect a line over which a customer already is receiving service and reconnect it to another carrier's switch.

"This new hot-cut rate is now part of the record," said Tom Tauke, Verizon senior vice president of external affairs and public policy. "By withdrawing and refiling the application the procedural issue was resolved, and the new hot cut rate was endorsed by more than a dozen CLECs (competitive local exchange carriers) in New York."

"Our original application clearly demonstrated that we have met the requirements of the 1996 Telecommunications Act to open our network for other carriers in New Jersey, and the new hot-cut rate eliminates the one issue that remained in serious dispute. Our systems that other carriers use to serve their customers received the first perfect score in an independent third-party test. And both the New Jersey BPU and the Department of Justice have endorsed the original application."

The new application also shows that competition has continued to grow since the date of Verizon's original application. Competitors have added another 50,000 lines, bringing the total to approximately 610,000 lines.

In December 1999, Verizon (then Bell Atlantic) became the first Bell company to gain FCC approval to offer long distance in its own service area when it won federal approval for New York, enabling the company to provide one-stop shopping for domestic and international telecommunications services to all its customers there. The company has since received FCC permission to provide long distance in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Verizon has applications seeking long-distance approval for Vermont and Maine pending at the FCC. The FCC's decision is due by April 17 on the Vermont application and by June 19 on Maine.

Verizon Long Distance is the fourth-largest long-distance service provider in the country, serving 8 million customers in 41 states.

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.