Verizon Reacts to FCC Delay in Addressing Intercarrier Compensation and Universal Service Reform

WASHINGTON - News organizations are reporting that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin will pull the proposed order on intercarrier compensation and universal services reform from the commission's November 4 open meeting agenda.  The following is a statement by Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president for public affairs, policy and communications, in reaction to this new development.

"Consumers and the industry will lose out if the FCC misses this historic opportunity to reform intercarrier compensation and universal service this year.  Action is needed so old-world policies don't delay new-world technology for consumers. 

"The commission still faces two near-term deadlines: a November 5 court-ordered deadline in the so-called ISP remand case; and a November 20 deadline to respond to last year's recommended decision from the Joint Board on universal service, including how to reform the way money is distributed to competitive eligible telecommunication carriers.  Inaction - or weak action - is inexcusable.

"Now is the time to act. There have been six comment cycles and 2700 submissions to the FCC on intercarrier compensation since 2001. There have been over a dozen comment cycles in the last few years and over 5,000 comments filed on USF reform since just 2005.  

"No one disputes the need for reform.  Putting this off until later won't make the solution to these problems any easier.  Delay will simply inhibit the needed investment in broadband networks, applications, and services."

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 71 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.