RICHMOND, Va. -- Consumers and businesses in Virginia now can choose Verizon as their long-distance company. Verizon Long Distance today began offering innovative, straightforward long-distance calling plans that bring the true benefits of telecommunications competition -- choice and value -- to the commonwealth.
"Today ushers in an exciting time for Virginians, who will benefit from even more competition in long-distance and local phone services," said Robert Woltz, Jr., president of Verizon Virginia.
Virginia is the 11th state in the former Bell Atlantic service area to be declared a fully competitive telecommunications market. That happened Oct. 30 when the Federal Communications Commission approved Verizon's application to provide long-distance service in the commonwealth. The long-distance market in Virginia is valued at $1.7 billion annually.
Verizon Long Distance now serves 9.8 million customers in 47 states, and the company's long-distance service is available to more than 90 percent of its local phone lines nationwide. Verizon will seek federal approval to offer long-distance in three remaining jurisdictions -- Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. -- later this year.
"Customers have told us they want calling plans that meet their needs at home and at work, and Verizon's long-distance plans do just that," said Jill Wagner, vice president -- consumer marketing, Verizon Long Distance. "We're offering Virginia consumers and businesses calling plans that they can understand and customize to satisfy their particular communications needs.
"Customers now can get all of Verizon's services -- local, regional toll, long-distance and Internet access -- on a single bill," said Wagner. "We make it easy, with one bill and one call for customer service."
Verizon's residential long-distance service earned top marks in "overall satisfaction" on the Yankee Group's annual Technologically Advanced Family Survey, ahead of AT&T, MCI/WorldCom and Sprint.
Verizon offers an assortment of long-distance plans for domestic and international calling, as well as toll-free plans and calling cards for both consumers and businesses.
Some plans enable customers to purchase long-distance service in advance or to package long-distance with other Verizon products and services. For instance, Verizon Virginia customers who subscribe to the "Local Package" can add long-distance service at eight 8 cents a minute for state-to-state calls. The Local Package is $32.95 per month and includes unlimited local calling, unlimited local directory assistance and four or more popular calling features such as Call Waiting and Caller ID.
Verizon also offers long-distance voice and data services designed to meet the requirements of business, government agencies and educational institutions in Virginia -- from the lowest- to highest-volume long-distance callers.
Several plans provide small and medium-sized businesses the simplicity of bundled packages of local and long-distance services, one bill and one place to call for all their communications needs.
Verizon also offers long-distance voice and data services designed to meet the requirements of Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies and education customers. Verizon Select Services, Inc is the business unit that provides a comprehensive selection of data transport products, including private line, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and frame relay services for enterprise customers.
For these customers, the company has two competitively priced domestic long-distance calling plans, as well as inbound and outbound international service, domestic and international toll-free services and calling cards.
"Verizon offers the full choice of telecommunications services and the dependability that today's enterprise customers require," said Edward F. McGuinness, senior vice president --marketing for Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group. "Many of our customers have been waiting for the day when they can consolidate their voice, data, local and long-distance services with one trusted brand. In Virginia, that day has arrived."
Residential customers and small and medium-sized businesses can sign up for Verizon long-distance service on the company's Web site at www.verizonld.com or by calling their local Verizon business office. Enterprise customers should contact their account manager, or visit www.verizon.com/enterprisesolutions.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 135.0 million access line equivalents and 31.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and more than 236,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 35 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.