Verizon Urges Intercarrier Compensation and Universal Service Reform

WASHINGTON - Verizon today will urge the Federal Communications Commission to reform the nation's intercarrier compensation and universal service programs at the commission's Nov. 4 open meeting.  The following is a statement from Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president for public affairs, policy and communications.

"It's time for action. These two issues have been studied to death. There have been six comment cycles and 2700 submissions to the FCC on intercarrier compensation since 2001. There have been over a dozen comment cycles in the last few years and over 5,000 comments filed on USF reform since just 2005.  

"No one disputes the need for reform.  Further delay won't make the solution to this problem any easier.  Delay will simply inhibit the needed investment in broadband networks, applications, and services.

"While we don't know the specifics of Chairman Martin's plan, the direction set by the draft order is correct and Verizon supports it.  It facilitates the deployment of broadband and the development of broadband services by establishing a national policy for IP services.  It also provides for a transition to a single terminating rate for all traffic, ending the implicit subsidies in the system as required by the 1996 Act.

"In a letter we will submit to the FCC today, we will urge action at the November 4 open meeting.  We will also highlight key issues from prior submissions for the commission's consideration as it finalizes reform that is consumer-friendly, workable, and addresses the concerns of various segments of the industry. 

"Action is needed now so old-world policies don't delay new-world technology for consumers.  The pursuit of perfection should not stand in the way of a good plan."

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 71 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.