BACKGROUND - The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities today voted 3-0 to reaffirm its support for Verizon's application to offer long-distance services in New Jersey. On March 26 the company refiled its application with Federal Communications Commission. The New Jersey board and the U.S. Department of Justice supported Verizon's original application, which was withdrawn for procedural reasons. The FCC has until June 24 to act on the new filing. The following response should be attributed to Dennis Bone, president of Verizon in New Jersey.
"This is the right decision by the board and, it is great news for consumers in New Jersey. They have waited long enough to receive the benefits of the increased competition currently enjoyed by their neighbors in New York and Pennsylvania.
"Our New Jersey long-distance applications, both the original and the one refiled last month with the FCC, clearly demonstrate that we have met the requirements of the 1996 Telecommunications Act to open our network for other carriers in New Jersey. Verizon has irreversibly opened the local phone market in the Garden State.