BACKGROUND - The Department of Justice (DOJ) today recommended that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approve Verizon's application for permission to offer long-distance service in Delaware and New Hampshire. The 1996 Telecommunications Act requires the FCC to consider DOJ's evaluation before it makes a final decision on the company's request. Verizon filed the two-state joint application with the FCC June 27. The FCC must rule on the application by Sept. 25. As a former regional Bell company, Verizon must get FCC approval before it can offer long distance in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states where it provides local phone service. The FCC has already granted Verizon permission to offer long distance in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and New Jersey. Verizon offers long-distance service in 44 states and to 80 percent of its local phone consumers across the country. The following response should be attributed to Sarah Deutsch, vice president and associate general counsel for Verizon.
WASHINGTON - "The Department of Justice's thorough evaluation and recommendation of our application to offer long-distance service in Delaware and New Hampshire confirms that local telecommunications markets in these two states are fully and irreversibly open. This positive evaluation will help move our application through the reviews at the Federal Communications Commission.
"The DOJ's recommendation, which follows FCC approvals in eight of our other states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, will help move Verizon into the home-stretch to bring the full benefits of competition to all of our customers. We are confident that the FCC will approve our long-distance application for Delaware and New Hampshire."