BACKGROUND -- A coalition of Verizon's competitors, led by AT&T, today asked the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to
add additional complexity and confusion to the way Verizon must do business in the state employing a concept know as "structural separation." The
following response should be attributed to Robert Woltz, president of Verizon Virginia.
"AT&T couldn't push its 'structural separation' idea through in Pennsylvania or Maryland, and it won't succeed in Virginia either. This is just
AT&T's latest effort to place additional regulatory delay and cost in the path of full competition.
"It's clear that AT&T has one driving motive here -- to gain market advantage at the expense of its chief rival. Even considering such an absurd idea
would be a waste of everyone's limited resources, including the State Corporation Commission, and would serve only to deny Virginia citizens the inevitable
benefits of full competition.
"Public policy centers around the country, including the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, have given this cumbersome scheme a
thumbs-down. These experts recognize that the 'structural separation' plan is nothing more than an effort to cover failing business strategies with what amounts to
corporate welfare. In a recent letter to Congressional leaders, these experts wrote, 'The fact that some firms are performing poorly in the marketplace -- despite
numerous regulatory advantages -- is hardly cause for returning to the failed model of regulated monopoly.'
"Splitting Verizon in two would result in higher phone costs, slower deployment of the latest technology for data and Internet access and, worst of all,
increased confusion for customers.
"Pennsylvanians and Marylanders saw through this AT&T flimflam. Virginians will as well."