DURHAM, N.C. -- The New Year will bring savings on the local phone bills of most of Verizon's 300,000 wireline customers in North Carolina.
"I'm sure many of our customers will be delighted to know that they are starting off the New Year with lower rates," said Joe Foster, Verizon's vice president for regulatory and governmental affairs in North Carolina.
The North Carolina General Assembly, in its last session, adopted legislation eliminating Verizon's 3.2-percent local franchise tax on gross receipts, saving the company close to $4 million a year. The law also required the company to pass the savings on to its customers.
Verizon's reductions will result in unlimited local calling to a wider area in the Triangle. Effective Jan.1, the per-minute rate on certain calls in the area will be eliminated on calls from Durham to Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, as well as from Creedmoor to Raleigh and Wake Forest. Late in the first quarter of the year, Verizon also will introduce unlimited local calling from Durham to Pittsboro.
Currently the Chapel Hill Border Plan, which is optional for customers in the 408 exchange, provides for unlimited local calling to Chapel Hill, with measured local calling to Durham. Starting Jan. 1, the plan will be eliminated and these customers will be able to make unlimited local calls to both Chapel Hill and Durham.
Verizon will offer unlimited local calling, beginning next spring, along 33 calling routes for those customers who subscribe to the popular Community Plus option. Calls to points up to 16 miles away will no longer be charged at a per-minute rate. Customers who subscribe to the company's other three options (Basic, Community Calling and Premium) are not affected.
In addition, the company will extend its local calling plans in western North Carolina to include routes up to 40 miles away for all options. This, too, is slated to start in the spring.
Verizon will reduce the per-call charge on calls from the Monroe, Altan and Goose Creek exchanges to Charlotte. Customers currently pay a set-up charge of six cents per call and 4.5 cents per minute during peak hours. The set-up charge will be reduced to 1.5 cents. The per-minute rate is not affected.
Later in the year, also in the Charlotte area, Verizon plans to eliminate per-minute charges on calls from the Goose Creek exchange to the Locust exchange.
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 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.