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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Verizon New York today proposed a new regulatory plan that reflects the state's intensely competitive telecommunications
market. The proposed plan would replace an existing regulatory plan set to expire next year.
Verizon has invested $10 billion in the last 6 years in its New York network to meet exploding demand for phone service, data communications and other
high-tech services. To help Verizon continue to provide New Yorkers the most advanced network services available and the highest level of customer service,
the new regulatory proposal includes a $1.25 monthly increase in basic phone rates -- the first in 10 years.
"For less than the price of a pair of movie tickets a year, our customers will be assured that Verizon will continue delivering the highest quality service over a
first-class communications network," said Verizon New York President Paul A. Crotty.
The $1.25 represents an increase of about 3 percent on the average monthly bill for residential telephone service, an increase far lower than inflation over the last
The new rate for many of Verizon's customers still will be lower than it was six years ago, when the company began a series of price reductions for basic phone
There would be no impact on New Yorkers who are least able to pay because the price of Lifeline, the discounted service to eligible low-income New Yorkers,
would remain as low as $1 a month. Lifeline is available to many seniors and others receiving public assistance.
Basic rates for the first residential and business line would be capped for the three-year life of the plan.
"The current plan was put in place nearly six years ago and is outdated," Crotty said. "It no longer recognizes the highly competitive market in New York. The
new plan we are proposing today gives Verizon the flexibility and agility needed to meet growing pressure on all segments of our business, while continuing to
provide New Yorkers with a first-class communications network."
The current regulatory plan is scheduled to expire in August 2002, after seven years of rate cuts and the strictest service quality standards in the nation. The new
plan, which the company calls the Verizon Incentive Plan for New York (VIP-NY), would replace the current regulatory agreement next January if approved by
the PSC. Under the current plan, Verizon has reduced toll and access charges and eliminated the charge for touch-tone service.
The plan calls for applying the same service quality requirements to Verizon as those used with its major competitors in New York. This change would eliminate
automatic rebates for failure to meet specific service benchmarks which currently only apply to Verizon, not its competitors.
"Here in New York, Verizon's network features more than a million miles of fiber-optic cable and a call-switching system that is 100 percent digital," Crotty said.
"We are committed to maintaining and improving high levels of service quality, while making sure our New York network continues to provide the most
advanced telecommunications in the world. This will be key to economic development throughout the state.
"What we have offered today is a plan that reflects this state's intensely competitive market for telecommunications, in which nearly 100,000 New Yorkers every
month switch their local service provider," he said.
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 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest
directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 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