BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Verizon Communications has asked the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) for approval to offer a money-saving calling plan with extended local calling areas to customers in 23 additional exchanges across the state. The company filed its request with the commission Oct. 19.
Under the extended area calling plan, Verizon North customers would be able to call additional nearby communities without paying long-distance charges and by dialing seven or 10 digits instead of the 1 + 10 digits they currently dial. Note: A list of new local calling areas for customers in these exchanges follows this release.
"We are continuing 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 would allow 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. With the proposed calling plan, all such calls would be considered local. If approved by the ICC, the plan will take effect Dec. 4.
With the plan, customers would need to 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 or security systems, medical alert systems, dial-up numbers for Internet access or Custom Calling features to work with the new, shorter telephone numbers.
Verizon is seeking to expand 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.
If approved by the ICC, the exchanges that were offered Extended Area Service last year will automatically have EAS as a standard part of the basic local calling area. The current monthly service charge and billing will remain the same. Those exchanges are: Bushnell, Loda, Macomb, Prairie City and Vermont.
The extended calling plan will be available to Verizon North customers in 242 exchanges across the state as of Oct. 23. The company plans to request permission to make the plan available to all Verizon North customers in the state early next year.
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 would be 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 will 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, holidays and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays.
Residential customers under the extended calling area plan can also 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 priced at 3.4 cents each, with no per-minute calling charges. These charges also are discounted 50 percent on weekends, holidays and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays.
Details of the proposed calling plan will be provided to Verizon North customers in the 23 additional Illinois exchanges in their bills soon.
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 125 million access line equivalents and approximately 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with about 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 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.