RICHMOND, Va.-- In a move to bring Virginians the benefits of all-out
competition for their telecommunications services, Verizon Communications today filed
an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer long-
distance service in the state.
The filing follows a report three weeks ago from a hearing examiner at the Virginia State
Corporation Commission (SCC), in which he recommended that the commission advise
the FCC that it supports giving Verizon authority to offer long-distance service in the
Virginia is the 11th state where Verizon has applied for approval to offer long distance.
As a former regional Bell company, Verizon must get FCC approval before it can offer
long distance in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, where it provides local phone
service. The FCC has already granted Verizon permission to offer long distance in New
York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont
and Maine. The commission is considering Verizon's applications for New Hampshire
and Delaware and must issue its decision on these requests by Sept. 25.
The FCC has 90 days to review Verizon's long-distance application for Virginia. The
SCC and the U.S. Department of Justice will provide their recommendations to the FCC
before it makes a final decision.
''Local competition is already thriving in Virginia,'' said Robert Woltz, president of
Verizon Virginia. ''Competitors serve approximately 763,000 lines in the commonwealth
today. That's an increase of more than 35 percent from the same time last year or
approximately 17,000 new customers added each month. But in states where Verizon has
received long-distance approval from the FCC, our entry has stimulated even greater
competition, not only in long-distance offerings, but also in local service packages. It's
time for residents and businesses in Virginia to reap the benefits that only Verizon's entry
into long distance will bring.''
Verizon's entry into long distance in the Northeast has triggered robust competition in
local and long-distance markets. According to independent studies, consumers in New
York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut are saving $1.8 billion on their local
and long- distance bills as competitors vie for their business.
KPMG Consulting, a widely known, independent auditing firm, conducted an exhaustive
review to verify that Verizon's operations support systems in Virginia are robust and
performing at levels required to support competitors as local customers switch their
phone service from Verizon.
''There can be absolutely no doubt that we've met or exceeded all the federal
requirements for long-distance entry, '' said Woltz.
Today's filing demonstrates in great detail that Verizon has met the 14-point competitive
checklist outlined in the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. That checklist
specifies the criteria regional Bell companies must satisfy to demonstrate they have
opened their local networks to competitors. Meeting this checklist is a pre-requisite for
Verizon to receive FCC approval to offer long-distance service in Virginia.
Verizon's performance in delivering the checklist items in Virginia is excellent,
according to Woltz. For example, the company delivered 100 percent of the
interconnection trunks to competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) on time and is
providing physical collocation arrangements to CLECs on time over 99 percent of the
time. Verizon also satisfied the requirements for completing orders from CLECs for
leasing combined portions of Verizon's network and for lines used to provide digital
subscriber line (DSL) service. Orders for unbundled voice-grade lines are being
provisioned on time over 99 percent of the time. Also, orders for transferring lines
already in service, known as ''hot cuts,'' are being completed on time over 98 percent of
In addition, competitors in the Old Dominion are providing local phone service over their
own cable and other facilities in the state to approximately 655,000 lines. Competitors
now provide service over their own networks to approximately 10 percent of the
residential customers and approximately 30 percent of the business customers in the former Bell Atlantic service area.
Verizon Long Distance is the fourth-largest long-distance provider in the country, serving
some 9 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 135.1 million access line equivalents and 30.3 million Verizon Wireless
customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67
billion in annual revenues and approximately 241,000 employees, Verizon's global presence
extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.