Verizon's Hot New Unlimited Calling Plan Adds Choice and Savings for Washington Callers

EVERETT, Wash. -- Verizon customers in Washington now have a new option for flat-rate, unlimited, any-distance calling.   Customers can combine the new phone plan with Verizon high-speed Internet and DIRECTV®  services to meet or beat the best non-promotional offers from cable.

Verizon Freedom Essentials offers unlimited local, regional and domestic long-distance calling with the three most popular calling features – Home Voice Mail, Call Waiting and Caller ID – for $44.99 a month (plus taxes, a Universal Service Fee and additional charges), and is the company's lowest-priced any-distance calling plan in Washington.

The new plan is available starting today.   The Freedom Essentials plan was first introduced last year and now is available in most of Verizon's service areas, where customers are choosing the value-based phone plans to build bundles of calling, Internet access and entertainment service provided by DIRECTV to meet all their home-communications and entertainment needs.

With the new calling plan, residential customers can have unlimited calling for as little as $44.99 per month and add entry-level DSL at connection speeds of up to768 kilobits per second (Kbps) downstream for a combined price of under $67 per month with a one-year commitment.  Customers can also add the DIRECTV TOTAL CHOICE®  package available from Verizon for a total package price of about $100 per month, when a one-year DIRECTV offer is factored in.  All services are billed together on the regular Verizon bill.

All calling is over Verizon's reliable local telephone network and does not involve Internet call transmission, which some cable companies offer, and which is a key differentiator for many customers.  Verizon's new calling-plan price and broadband charges are not dependent on purchasing other services, as can happen with cable plans.

"This is a brand-new calling plan, not a temporary offer," said Eileen Cassidy, senior vice president for voice and bundled solutions for Verizon.  "We're giving our customers a great new price on calling and offering a foundation for very competitively priced bundles of services.

"This is the kind of competitive marketing that will grow our customer base and reinforce the loyalty between Verizon and its residential customers," she said.

Telecommunications and wireless industry analyst Jeff Kagan said, "New competition in the industry is driving creative, cost-cutting innovation. Verizon is offering a variety of service and pricing options that should be attractive to all their customers.  On one hand, it offers a simple package with the lowest price for calls; and on the other hand, it also offers a very low price on a super bundle of services, including DIRECTV service.

"As Verizon competes with cable television companies, this is the kind of offer that customers will love," he said.  "It should allow Verizon to attract and retain customers."

The new calling plan will be available for online ordering at www.verizon.com at a later date, but can be ordered by phone now at 888-311-6826.

The new Freedom Essentials calling plan complements other calling-service options that allow customers to virtually customize their calling plans, building from a local-calling package, to per-minute-priced or unlimited regional and long-distance calling. Verizon service personnel will analyze a customer's bills and calling habits and suggest the most efficient plan to meet the customer's personal needs.

Verizon offers two high-speed DSL Internet service plans to qualifying consumers, one with maximum connection speeds of up to 768 Kbps downstream and 128 Kbps upstream and another with maximum connection speeds of up to 3.0 Mbps (megabits per second) downstream and 768 Kbps upstream. Actual downstream and upstream speeds may vary based upon numerous factors. DSL Internet service is not available in all areas or on all telephone lines.

The DIRECTV TOTAL CHOICE package offers more than 155 channels of 100 percent digital-quality video and music programming, providing a higher-quality picture and sound than cable's older analog signals. The package also offers the ability to add advanced services like digital video recorders, interactivity and high-definition programming. Customers with a qualifying voice and data package along with DIRECTV service can get bundled discounts and a single bill for calling, Internet service and entertainment.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 55 million customers nationwide.  Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks.  Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 252,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.