BACKGROUND - On April 17, Vermont became the fourth New England state in which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized Verizon to provide long-distance service. The FCC requires state regulatory commissions' formal input before ruling on former Bell companies' applications to provide long-distance service in a state. Verizon is currently seeking the Public Utility Commission's support for its upcoming FCC long-distance application for New Hampshire. The following statement may be attributed to J. Michael Hickey, president, Verizon New Hampshire:
"With the FCC's approval of Verizon's application to provide long-distance service in Vermont, even more New Englanders now will reap the savings and choice that full competition brings to local and long-distance telecommunications markets.
"The competition, rate flexibility and service quality that Verizon is bringing to the long-distance market in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and now Vermont is apparent in the strong positive response of consumers and businesses throughout the region.
"We will continue to work together with state regulators so that New Hampshire soon joins our New England neighbors in enjoying the significant benefits of full telecom competition."