WASHINGTON - Verizon today filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer long-distance service in Delaware and New Hampshire, continuing the company's efforts to spread the benefits of all-out competition in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
"This application combines the two latest states where the respective public utility commissions have examined the extensive record and voiced their support for Verizon long distance," said Tom Tauke, senior vice president of public policy and external affairs for Verizon. "New Hampshire builds on our successful filings for the other New England states, and Delaware follows successful filings for its neighbors Pennsylvania and New Jersey."
As a former regional Bell company, Verizon must get FCC approval before it can offer long-distance service in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states where it provides local phone service.
The FCC has 90 days to review Verizon's long-distance application. Both states' regulatory commissions and the U.S. Department of Justice will provide their recommendations to the FCC before it makes a final decision. The New Hampshire Public Utility Commission early this month announced that it supports Verizon's long-distance application in that state. The Delaware Public Service Commission expressed its support for Verizon's application there June 25.
"Consumers in these states deserve the substantial competitive savings that those in the other Eastern states with Verizon Long Distance enjoy today," Tauke said. "Local competition currently is present in Delaware and New Hampshire. But we've seen that - in states where Verizon has received long-distance approval from the FCC - our entry has spurred even greater competition as Verizon competes for long-distance customers and competitors step up their local-service marketing.
"It's time for residents and businesses throughout the East to reap the benefits that only Verizon's long-distance entry will bring," said Tauke.
Research indicates annual savings exceeding $1.8 billion for consumers in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts from local and long-distance competition associated with Verizon's entry into long-distance markets in those states, according to studies analyzed by Verizon.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, an independent consulting firm, has verified that Verizon's computer operations support systems in Delaware are the same as those in Pennsylvania, where the FCC approved Verizon's long-distance application last fall. The consulting firm also verified that the computer systems in New Hampshire are the same as those in Massachusetts, where the company received FCC approval early last year. Competitors use Verizon's systems to provide their own service or to switch customers' local phone service from Verizon.
"There is no question that we've met or exceeded all the federal requirements in these states," said Tauke. "Telecommunications companies are using Verizon's systems in commercial volumes to compete in Delaware and New Hampshire."
In December 1999, Verizon (then Bell Atlantic) became the first Bell company to gain the ability to offer long-distance service in its own service area when it won FCC approval for New York, enabling the company to provide one-stop shopping for domestic and international telecommunications services to all its customers there. In the last two weeks the company added Maine and New Jersey to the list of states where it has received FCC approval. The other states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Verizon Long Distance is the fourth-largest long-distance service provider in the country, serving 8.2 million customers in 44 states.
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 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, 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.