75 Organizations Overwhelmingly Support Verizon's Long-Distance Application in Massachusetts

BOSTON - Some 75 national and state organizations have urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve Verizon's application to provide long-distance services to Massachusetts customers.

National organizations which support Verizon's long-distance application include the National Urban League, the Alliance for Public Technology, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Council of the Blind, the National Association of Partners in Education, Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc., the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the National Council on the Aging.

Supporting state organizations in Massachusetts include: economic development and job training organizations such as the Cape Cod Technology Council, the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, the Massachusetts Rural Development Council, and the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County; educational organizations such as Boston Partners in Education, the Alliance for Education and the Mass Mentoring Partnership; business groups such as the Waltham, Lynn, MetroWest, Springfield and Boston Neighborhood Chambers of Commerce; and community organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Massachusetts Assistive Technology Partnership Center, the Immigrant Learning Center and Arts/Boston.

"The support of these prestigious organizations and individuals, coupled with the findings by state regulators that Verizon has met all the requirements to provide long-distance service, provide the FCC with a clear and indisputable record that should make its final decision simple," said Robert Mudge, president, Verizon Massachusetts.

The organizations expressed their support in letters to the FCC.

Verizon asked the FCC on Sept. 22 for approval to offer long-distance service to Massachusetts customers. The filing followed a 16-month state review and independent tests, which evaluated the company's compliance with requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

On Oct. 16, the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy recommended to the FCC that it approve Verizon's application. The FCC has until Dec. 21 to decide.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, 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 more than 100 million access line equivalents and more than 26 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 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.