RICHMOND, Va. - A hearing examiner at the Virginia State Corporation Commission today recommended in his report to the commission that the three-judge panel support Verizon's bid to offer long-distance service in the state. Approval of Verizon's application to offer the service must ultimately come from the Federal Communications Commission. The following statement should be attributed to Robert Woltz, president of Verizon Virginia:
"The hearing examiner's report affirms that Verizon has met the strict requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to irreversibly open our local market to competition.
"The evidence makes it abundantly clear that the time has come for Verizon to offer long-distance service to Virginians and for consumers in the Old Dominion to enjoy the same savings and benefits that are now available to millions of Verizon customers in 44 other states.
"This report is a significant step toward bringing new choices and savings to Virginians. We hope to file our long-distance application with the Federal Communications Commission in the next few weeks."