Verizon Communications Executive Urging FCC Action on Intercarrier Compensation and Universal Service Reform

WASHINGTON - A Verizon Communications senior executive is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to "facilitate the transition to the broadband world" by adopting intercarrier compensation and universal-service reform this year.

The current "arcane system" that pays carriers for the exchange of traffic is "an obstacle to the development and use of broadband and IP services," said Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy and communications, in a speech prepared for delivery Saturday (Oct. 25) at the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association conference in Venice, Italy.

"While this transition from the policies of the circuit-switched world is tough, we will all be better off when it is finished," Tauke said in his prepared remarks. "The longer policymakers and the industry try to sustain the old world, the more likely that the inevitable crash between old-world policies and new-world technology will wreak havoc on telecom carriers and their customers."

Tauke noted in his speech that the evolution of broadband and IP-based services is creating a more competitive environment and will bring new and innovative services to consumers in all areas of the country. Such reforms will also bring certainty and clarity to the marketplace, so that investment in next-generation networks can continue, he said.

Tauke urged the FCC to "forge ahead and get this across the finish line" this year. "There's a lot of work to do in a short time," he said.  "But all the piece parts are there in the FCC's record to develop a viable plan."

Tauke will speak during ETNO's 33rd annual General Assembly, Forum and CEO Summit, which brings together leading policymakers and telecom and information technology players from 34 countries to discuss global challenges facing the sector, such as the need to deploy next-generation networks.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.