NEW YORK -- What's in a name? When the name involves the nation's fourth largest long-distance competitor, it's a lot -- innovative choices of long-distance calling plans and products designed with the customer foremost in mind.
Starting today, residential and small business long-distance customers of Verizon Select Services Inc. (formerly GTE Long Distance) are served by Verizon Long
Distance (formerly Bell Atlantic Communicatons).
The new name will appear on all long-distance correspondence, including the customer's long-distance bills. Rates will remain the same and calling card
customers will continue to be able to make calls away from home or the office.
"You can count on Verizon Long Distance to continue to provide the same excellent service and offer a variety of innovative calling plans and products to
consumers and businesses for both domestic and international calling," said Maura Breen, president, Verizon Long Distance. "We've successfully
combined the plans, platforms and programs of the former GTE and Bell Atlantic long-distance companies to create one of the fastest-growing long-distance
companies in the country."
In December 1999, Bell Atlantic was the first regional Bell operating company authorized to sell long-distance services in its home state. When GTE and Bell
Atlantic merged in June 2000 to create Verizon, the former Bell Atlantic and GTE long-distance companies continued to serve their customers under the new
names Verizon Long Distance and Verizon Select Services. Originally, the two units offered a separate set of calling plans to their customers. Today, Verizon
Long Distance offers basically the same plans to its customers nationwide.
Recently, the Telecommunications Research & Action Center (TRAC), a consumer watchdog agency, concluded that New York consumers are saving up
to $700 million a year on local and long-distance services. The FCC recently found the highest levels of competition in states where the incumbent local
telephone company offers long-distance service.
Verizon Long Distance is the nation's fourth largest long-distance company with more than 5.2 million customers and reaches 250 countries and international
locations. Currently, Verizon Long Distance offers service in 38 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New
York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and
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 approximately 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global
presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit