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BACKGROUND -- Virginia today became the latest state to reject AT&T's self-serving effort to gain competitive advantage over Verizon as the State Corporation Commission (SCC) dismissed a petition by AT&T and three other companies that would split Verizon's operations into separate wholesale and retail companies in Virginia. The following should be attributed to Robert Woltz, president of Verizon Virginia.
"The State Corporation Commission has acted for all Virginians in rejecting AT&T's push to split Verizon into separate wholesale and retail companies in Virginia. The SCC joins a growing list of regulators and legislators - including those in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Illinois - in just saying 'No' to similar AT&T-backed efforts in those states.
"In addition, the FCC has on several occasions considered and turned aside structural separation over the past few years.
"AT&T's sole purpose is to keep a competitive advantage by tying up Verizon in frivolous regulatory proceedings like this one. In pursuing these delaying tactics, AT&T seeks to protect its long-distance revenues at the expense of Virginians, who would miss out on the savings and choices that full telecom competition brings.
"We're encouraged that the commission saw through this transparent strategy by AT&T.
"The SCC's decisive action should send a clear signal to AT&T: Stop wasting everyone's time and energy on these foolish filings in Virginia and across the country and start competing for local phone service as so many other companies are doing today."
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 www.verizon.com.