BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Verizon customers in 23 additional exchanges now can take advantage of a new local calling plan that can save them money while giving them larger local calling areas. (Note: A list of new local calling areas for customers in these exchanges follows this release.)
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has approved the extended area service (EAS) plan which will result in changes in the way some calls are billed and dialed.
Under the extended area calling plan, Verizon customers can call additional nearby communities without paying long-distance charges and by dialing just seven or 10 digits, instead of the 1 + 10 digits they previously dialed.
"We continue to enhance the value of our service," said James R. Hargrave, Verizon assistant vice president - public policy & external affairs for Illinois. "Our new calling plan provides more rate options for our customers and delivers lower-priced calling alternatives."
The new plan allows residential and business customers to call all communities within the same market service area (MSA) and a 15-mile radius of their own exchange without paying local toll charges. All such calls are considered local.
With the plan, customers dial seven digits to reach other numbers within their area code and MSA and dial 10 digits (area code + telephone number) to reach numbers in all other area codes within the new 15-mile local calling radius.
Customers will need to reprogram fax machines, PBXs, key systems, alarm systems, medical alert systems, dial-up numbers for Internet access or Custom Calling features to work with the new, shorter telephone numbers.
Verizon has expanded the calling plan to its customers in the following exchanges: Alvin, Astoria, Bement, Bismarck, Broadlands, Buckley, Elliott, Henning, Homer, Mahomet, Mansfield, Melvin, Monticello, Newman, Paxton, Roberts, Rossville, Sibley, Sidell, Sidney, Thawville, Tuscola and Villa Grove.
Customers in the exchanges that were offered Extended Area Service last year automatically now have EAS as a standard part of their basic local calling area. The current monthly service charge and billing remain the same. Those exchanges are: Bushnell, Loda, Macomb, Prairie City and Vermont.
The extended calling plan currently is available to Verizon customers in 242 exchanges across the state.
Since GTE and Bell Atlantic merged to become Verizon last year, the company has reduced its local rates in Illinois by more than $10 million. In addition, the company is committed to investing $270 million over three years in its existing telecommunications infrastructure.
Under the new calling plan, local calls to additional nearby communities are priced at current, local Usage Sensitive Service rates. Usage Sensitive Service has a $17.02 monthly fee, plus a call-connection charge of 3 cents per call and a 1.8-cents-per-minute calling charge.
Costs for calls within the home exchange remain the same; residential customers currently pay 3.4 cents per call with no per-minute calling charges. Business customers currently pay a call-connection charge of 1.88 cents and a 0.93-cents-per-minute calling charge. These charges are discounted 50 percent on weekends and holidays and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays.
Residential customers under the extended calling area plan also can select the
11-cents-per-call option. Under this option, they pay the same monthly fee as before, $17.02, plus a flat, 11-cents-per-call charge with no per-minute charge for calls to nearby communities. Calls within the home exchange will remain 3.4 cents each, with no per-minute calling charges. These charges also are discounted 50 percent on weekends and holidays and from 9 p.m. to
8 a.m. on weekdays.
Details of the proposed calling plan were provided to Verizon customers in the 23 additional Illinois exchanges in their recent monthly bill.
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.
Extended Area Service Calling Plan
The towns listed identify telephone exchanges included in Verizon's new calling plan. Because an exchange can include more than one community, customers with telephone prefixes on this chart are included in the offering. New calling areas are in bold type.
Calls from the Alvin exchange (217) 765: Armstrong, Bismarck, Cheneyville, Collison, Danville, East Lynn, Henning, Hoopeston, Potomac and Rossville.
Calls from the Astoria exchange (309) 329: Adair, Industry, Littleton, Summum and Vermont.
Calls from the Bement exchange (217) 678: Ivesdale, Monticello, Sadorus and Seymour.
Calls from the Bismarck exchange (217) 759: Alvin, Armstrong, Catlin, Cheneyville, Collison, Danville, Henning, Hoopeston, Oakwood, Potomac and Rossville.
Calls from the Broadlands exchange (217) 834: Fairmount, Homer, Indianola, Newman, Ogden, Pesotum, Philo, Sidell, Sidney, St. Joseph, Tolono and Villa Grove.
Calls from the Buckley exchange (217) 394: Loda, Melvin, Paxton, Rankin, Roberts and Thawville.
Calls from the Bushnell exchange (309) 772: Adair, Avon, Bardolph, Good Hope, Macomb, Prairie City, Roseville and Swan Creek.
Calls from the Elliott exchange (217) 749: Fisher, Foosland, Gibson City, Loda, Ludlow, Melvin, Paxton, Rantoul, Roberts and Sibley.
Calls from the Henning exchange (217) 286: Alvin, Armstrong, Bismarck, Cheneyville, Collison, Danville, East Lynn, Hoopeston, Oakwood, Penfield, Potomac and Rossville.
Calls from the Homer exchange (217) 896: Broadlands, Catlin, Champaign-Urbana, Fairmount, Fithian, Flatville, Indianola, Oakwood, Ogden, Philo, Royal, St. Joseph, Sidell and Sidney.
Calls from the Loda exchange (217) 386: Buckley, East Lynn, Elliott, Ludlow, Melvin, Paxton, Rankin, Rantoul, Roberts and Thawville.
Calls from the Macomb exchange (309) 295, 298, 833, 836, 837: Adair, Bardolph, Blandinsville, Bushnell, Colchester, Good Hope, Industry and Swan Creek.
Calls from the Mahomet exchange (217) 586, 590: Bondville, Champaign-Urbana, Fisher, Foosland, Mansfield, Monticello, Seymour and Thomasboro.
Calls from the Mansfield exchange (217) 489: Bondville, Fisher, Foosland, Mahomet, Monticello and Seymour.
Calls from the Melvin exchange (217) 388: Buckley, Elliott, Gibson City, Loda, Ludlow, Paxton, Roberts, Sibley and Thawville.
Calls from the Monticello exchange (217) 762: Bement, Bondville, Cisco, DeLand, Ivesdale, Mahomet, Mansfield, Sadorus and Seymour.
Calls from the Newman exchange (217) 837: Broadlands, Sidell and Villa Grove.
Calls from the Paxton exchange (217) 379: Buckley, Elliott, Gibson City, Gifford, Loda, Ludlow, Melvin, Penfield, Rankin, Rantoul and Roberts.
Calls from the Prairie City exchange (309) 775: Abingdon, Adair, Avon, Bardolph, Bushnell, Good Hope, London Mills, Roseville and Swan Creek.
Calls from the Roberts exchange (217) 395: Buckley, Elliott, Gibson City, Loda, Melvin, Paxton, Roberts, Sibley and Thawville.
Calls from the Rossville exchange (217) 748: Alvin, Armstrong, Bismarck, Cheneyville, Collison, East Lynn, Henning, Hoopeston, Potomac and Rankin.
Calls from the Sibley exchange (217) 745: Elliott, Gibson City, Melvin and Roberts.
Calls from the Sidell exchange (217) 288: Broadlands, Catlin Fairmount, Fithian, Georgetown, Homer, Indianola, Newman, Oakwood, Ridge Farm and Westville.
Calls from the Sidney exchange (217) 688: Broadlands, Champaign-Urbana, Fairmount, Fithian, Flatville, Homer, Ogden, Pesotum, Philo, Royal, St. Joseph, Sadorus, Tolono and Villa Grove.
Calls from the Thawville exchange (217) 387: Buckley, Loda, Melvin and Roberts.
Calls from the Tuscola exchange (217) 253: Ivesdale, Pesotum, Sadorus, Tolono and Villa Grove.
Calls from the Vermont exchange (309) 784: Adair, Astoria, Industry, Littleton and Table Grove.
Calls from the Villa Grove exchange (217) 832: Broadlands, Newman, Pesotum, Philo, Sadorus, Sidney, Tolono and Tuscola.