NEW YORK -- Capping a year of remarkable growth, Verizon has passed a major milestone by signing up its five millionth long-distance customer
nationwide. Verizon is currently the fourth largest long-distance company and one of the fastest-growing in the country. Verizon attributes its success to delivering
what customers want.
"Customers love simple, straightforward long-distance plans and this is how they respond," said Maura Breen, president - Verizon Long Distance.
"We're looking forward to even faster growth in the future when Verizon is finally allowed to offer long distance to millions more in the Northeast and
Verizon experienced dramatic sales growth in New York, signing up more than 1.4 million customers in 2000, the first year the company was allowed to offer
long distance in the state.
Verizon offers simple, easy to understand, flat-rate calling plans to consumers and businesses for both domestic and international calling. International customers
can reach 250 countries around the world. Verizon's flagship consumer plans are Timelesssm and SmartTouchsm. Timeless offers 10
cents per minute on all direct-dialed, state-to-state calls. SmartTouch allows customers to buy long-distance time in advance for 8 cents per minute. There are
no minimums or monthly charges with either Timeless or SmartTouch.
According to Breen, Verizon's rates beat its largest competitors' because Verizon's most popular plans do not have monthly recurring charges. "Verizon
listened to consumers and businesses who said that most companies' rates were confusing and hard to calculate. Our plans are clean and simple, without the
confusion. Verizon's record growth is due to answering customers' preference for simplicity," Breen said.
Verizon offers long-distance service in 37 states and is working to gain permission to offer service in the remaining states and the District of Columbia in the next
two years. As a former regional Bell company, Verizon needs approval from state regulators and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer
long-distance service in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states where Verizon is the incumbent local telephone company. Verizon won approval to offer
long-distance service in New York in December 1999.
The Telecommunications Research and Action Center, a consumer watchdog agency, reported last fall that New York consumers are saving about $220 million
annually on their phone bills because of telecommunications competition there. Approximately half the savings, $120 million, comes from the lower long-distance
rates enjoyed by Verizon Long Distance customers -- savings of up to $10 a month per customer.
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 nearly 109 million access line equivalents and more than 27.5 million wireless customers. Verizon
is also the world's largest provider of print and online directory information. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $63
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,