Verizon Resubmits Massachusetts Long-Distance Application

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WASHINGTON -- Verizon Communications today resubmitted its application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer long-distance service in Massachusetts.

"This filing builds upon our original application which clearly demonstrated that we have satisfied the 14-point checklist required for long-distance entry," said Tom Tauke, Verizon senior vice president of external affairs and public policy.

Today's filing incorporates the original filing that Verizon made Sept. 22 and adds further evidence demonstrating that the company provides competitors non-discriminatory access to DSL-capable telephone lines.

"Our new filing further demonstrates that we provide non-discriminatory access to lines other DSL providers lease from us, as well as parity of service for installation and repair," he said.

As examples, Tauke pointed out the new filing demonstrates that Verizon installed 95 percent of the telephone lines used for DSL service by its wholesale customers on time in the most recent month for which data is available, that approximately 96 percent of these lines experience no trouble in a given month, and that with respect to the small fraction that do, Verizon repairs them in a timely and nondiscriminatory manner. The filing also demonstrates that Verizon's performance in providing line sharing, which enables competitors to provide DSL service to customers over the same line that Verizon uses to provide voice service, is equally strong.

Verizon's performance results have been independently validated by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which replicated the results reported by Verizon and confirmed that they conform to established guidelines that were agreed to by other carriers and adopted by the state commission.

"Re-filing puts to rest any concerns that interested parties did not have adequate opportunity to comment on all issues," Tauke said.

He pointed out that competitors in the Massachusetts telecommunications market now serve 800,000 lines in the state, 100,000 more lines than they did when the original application was filed. Today, Verizon's competitors serve more than 18 percent of the retail lines in the state.

"This level of CLEC penetration is greater than the level in either New York or Texas at the time those 271 applications were filed," Tauke said.

"The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy, which spent more than 16 months reviewing mountains of data, agrees that we have met the requirements of the Telecommunications Act and has told the FCC that we should be permitted to enter the long-distance market there," he said.

"We are confident that when the FCC evaluates the record, it will quickly agree that we have more than satisfied all the requirements," Tauke said.

Verizon filed its original Massachusetts long-distance application with the FCC last fall following the state's extensive review and independent tests, which show that the company complies with requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for long-distance entry.

Based on its own comprehensive review, the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy recommended to the FCC that it approve Verizon's application.

In addition, some 75 national and state organizations have urged the FCC to approve Verizon's application to provide long-distance services to Massachusetts customers, including the National Urban League, the Alliance for Public Technology, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Council on the Aging, the Cape Cod Technology Council, the Merrimack (Mass.) Valley Economic Development Council, the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board and dozens of other national and Massachusetts civic and economic development organizations.

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