BACKGROUND - The U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today reaffirmed its earlier recommendation that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approve Verizon's application to offer long-distance service in New Jersey. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities also has reaffirmed its support of Verizon's long-distance application. DOJ routinely gives the FCC an evaluation of long-distance applications, which the commission considers before making a final decision. Verizon re-filed its New Jersey application with the FCC March 26 to reflect a revised charge to provide certain services to competitors. The FCC must rule on the application by June 24. The following response should be attributed to Sarah Deutsch, vice president and associate general counsel for Verizon:
"The Department of Justice made the right call in reaffirming its earlier recommendation that the FCC approve our long-distance application in New Jersey. We look forward to the FCC's prompt approval of our application so New Jersey consumers can enjoy the pro-competitive benefits that result where Verizon has won approval to offer long distance."