BACKGROUND -- Today the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to support Verizon's bid to offer long distance in the state. The company expects to file its application with the Federal Communications Commission later this month. 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 following statement should be attributed to J. Michael Hickey, president of Verizon in New Hampshire:
"We are pleased that New Hampshire consumers will soon reap the benefits of increased competition for both local and long-distance services. Consumers have enjoyed more savings and choice in every other state where Verizon is allowed to compete with the long-distance companies. Consumers in our state also will soon have the opportunity to receive all their telecommunications services on a single bill from Verizon. "