Verizon Seeks To Offer Long-Distance Service To Consumers, Businesses in Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON - Verizon today filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer long-distance service in Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. The filing is the culmination of the company's efforts to spread the benefits of all-out competition to telecommunications markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

"We have no doubt that, when the FCC reviews our comprehensive filing, the commission will agree it's time for consumers and businesses in Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., to join the many others around the country who now enjoy the benefits of full telecom competition," said Tom Tauke, senior vice president of public policy and external affairs for Verizon.

As a former regional Bell company, Verizon must get FCC approval before it can offer long-distance service to its local phone service customers in these markets. The company already has won that approval in 11 other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Such approval is not required in markets formerly served by GTE, which offered long-distance service before it merged with Bell Atlantic to form Verizon in 2000.

Verizon (then Bell Atlantic) became the first Bell company to gain permission to offer long-distance to its local service customers when it won FCC approval for New York in December 1999. By November 2002,Verizon could offer long-distance service in 48 states and did offer it in 47, all but Alaska. Today's filing for Maryland, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia marks the last of Verizon's required FCC applications.

Verizon's filing demonstrates in great detail that the company has met or exceeded all federal requirements in these three jurisdictions. The FCC has 90 days to review Verizon's application. The three local regulatory commissions and the U.S. Department of Justice will provide their input to the FCC before it makes a final decision.

"Verizon looks forward to entering the long-distance arena in these jurisdictions and to bringing our customers the benefit of receiving all their telecom services from one company, and also the option of making one call to order all services on one bill," said Tauke. Adding long-distance service to Verizon's local, data, wireless and other offerings is a $2.2 billion opportunity in these three markets.

"We also look forward to competing head-to-head with AT&T and WorldCom in the large enterprise and federal government markets - competition that will be made possible when Verizon finally has permission to offer all services to large organizations, including long-distance voice and data service from anywhere to anywhere in the United States or overseas," Tauke said.

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 135.0 million access line equivalents and 31.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and more than 236,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 35 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.