WASHINGTON - In its report on competition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today said that competitive local exchange companies (CLECs) continue to increase market share. The report said CLECs' market share is highest in states that have received long-distance approval. The following comments may be attributed to Ed Young, senior vice president of international and federal public policy for Verizon Communications:
"The Federal Communications Commission has confirmed what Verizon has been saying all along -- that local telephone markets are open and competition continues to grow at a rapid pace. And, while the FCC data shows that CLEC market share nearly doubled last year, that number continues to climb this year. In states where Verizon has long-distance approval or is about to apply for long distance, the growth is even more dramatic with consumers reaping the benefits of increased competition.
"In New York, according to a study from the Telecommunication Research and Action Center, consumers are saving up to $700 million annually in both local and long distance since Verizon received long-distance approval. Competitors now provide local service to 25 percent of the residential market and more than 35 percent of the business market in the Empire state.
"In Massachusetts, at the time we received long distance approval competitors served more than 850,000 customers -- or 16 percent of the lines. Two weeks after we entered the long-distance market consumers received an additional benefit -- our competitors began offering consumers 30 minutes of free service.
"In Pennsylvania, consumers began to reap the benefit of increased competition when we started the process to receive long-distance approval last fall. Today, competitors in Pennsylvania are gaining approximately 40,000 lines a month.
"Clearly, when a company like Verizon wins approval to enter the long-distance market, it stimulates everyone to begin to compete."