Momentum for Full Telecom Competition Builds as FCC Okays Verizon's Massachusetts Long-Distance Bid

Verizon Working to Bring New Jersey Benefits Of All-Out Competition

For Local, Long-Distance Services



Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from Verizon Communications

    NEWARK, N.J., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- New Jerseyans continue to wait for
 the day when they can join consumers in five other states who now enjoy the
 choice and savings of full telecommunications competition.
     However, that day may be nearing as Verizon continues to demonstrate it
 has met federal and state requirements to enter the long-distance market in
 New Jersey.   While the company has not yet filed its long-distance
 application with federal regulators, the steps required to obtain
 long-distance approval are well underway.
     Verizon today received approval from the Federal Communications Commission
 to offer long distance in Massachusetts.  Verizon already provides
 long-distance service in New York.  SBC Communications currently offers long
 distance in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
     "Massachusetts and the other four states are embracing full telecom
 competition," said Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey.  "It's now
 time for New Jerseyans to have the increased choice and savings that wide-open
 competition brings."
     State regulators soon will be examining the results of more than a year of
 independent tests of Verizon New Jersey's operations support systems.  The
 tests began in March 2000 and are close to completion.  Operating support
 systems are used by competitors when they switch customers' local service from
 Verizon to their service.
     In New York, full competition has resulted in annual consumer savings of
 about $220 million in local and long distance, according to a study by the
 Telecommunications Research and Action Center.  Verizon's competitors -- led
 by AT&T and WorldCom -- have captured about 20 percent of the Empire State's
 local service market, and Verizon now serves a like amount of the
 long-distance market in that state.
     "Just as we have seen in New York and Massachusetts, competition for local
 phone service heats up as Verizon gets closer to obtaining long-distance
 approval," said Bone.  "And it's happening in New Jersey where more than
 80 companies are authorized by the Board of Public Utilities to provide local
 phone service.
     "Some 95 percent of Verizon's lines in New Jersey are available today to
 our competitors through "collocation" -- by placing their communications
 equipment in Verizon's switching offices."
     Verizon's long-distance filing with the BPU, expected this spring, will
 provide extensive detail showing that the company has met the 14-point
 competitive checklist specified in the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.
 This checklist stipulates the criteria former regional Bell companies must
 satisfy to demonstrate they have opened their local networks to competitors.
 Meeting this checklist is a prerequisite for Verizon to receive federal
 permission to offer long-distance service in New Jersey.
     The FCC has 90 days to review Verizon's long-distance bid once the company
 completes the BPU's own review process and files its application with the FCC.
 The BPU and the U.S. Department of Justice will provide their recommendations
 to the FCC before it makes a decision.
     "We hope to offer New Jerseyans another choice for all their
 telecommunications needs - including long distance in the fourth quarter of
 this year," said Bone.
 
     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 largest directory publisher in the world.  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,
 visit http://www.verizon.com.
 
     ON THE INTERNET: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and
 biographies, news media contacts and other information are available at
 Verizon's News Center on the World Wide Web (http://www.verizon.com/news).  To
 receive news releases by email, visit the News Center and register for
 personalized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.
 
 

SOURCE Verizon Communications
    NEWARK, N.J., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- New Jerseyans continue to wait for
 the day when they can join consumers in five other states who now enjoy the
 choice and savings of full telecommunications competition.
     However, that day may be nearing as Verizon continues to demonstrate it
 has met federal and state requirements to enter the long-distance market in
 New Jersey.   While the company has not yet filed its long-distance
 application with federal regulators, the steps required to obtain
 long-distance approval are well underway.
     Verizon today received approval from the Federal Communications Commission
 to offer long distance in Massachusetts.  Verizon already provides
 long-distance service in New York.  SBC Communications currently offers long
 distance in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
     "Massachusetts and the other four states are embracing full telecom
 competition," said Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey.  "It's now
 time for New Jerseyans to have the increased choice and savings that wide-open
 competition brings."
     State regulators soon will be examining the results of more than a year of
 independent tests of Verizon New Jersey's operations support systems.  The
 tests began in March 2000 and are close to completion.  Operating support
 systems are used by competitors when they switch customers' local service from
 Verizon to their service.
     In New York, full competition has resulted in annual consumer savings of
 about $220 million in local and long distance, according to a study by the
 Telecommunications Research and Action Center.  Verizon's competitors -- led
 by AT&T and WorldCom -- have captured about 20 percent of the Empire State's
 local service market, and Verizon now serves a like amount of the
 long-distance market in that state.
     "Just as we have seen in New York and Massachusetts, competition for local
 phone service heats up as Verizon gets closer to obtaining long-distance
 approval," said Bone.  "And it's happening in New Jersey where more than
 80 companies are authorized by the Board of Public Utilities to provide local
 phone service.
     "Some 95 percent of Verizon's lines in New Jersey are available today to
 our competitors through "collocation" -- by placing their communications
 equipment in Verizon's switching offices."
     Verizon's long-distance filing with the BPU, expected this spring, will
 provide extensive detail showing that the company has met the 14-point
 competitive checklist specified in the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.
 This checklist stipulates the criteria former regional Bell companies must
 satisfy to demonstrate they have opened their local networks to competitors.
 Meeting this checklist is a prerequisite for Verizon to receive federal
 permission to offer long-distance service in New Jersey.
     The FCC has 90 days to review Verizon's long-distance bid once the company
 completes the BPU's own review process and files its application with the FCC.
 The BPU and the U.S. Department of Justice will provide their recommendations
 to the FCC before it makes a decision.
     "We hope to offer New Jerseyans another choice for all their
 telecommunications needs - including long distance in the fourth quarter of
 this year," said Bone.
 
     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 largest directory publisher in the world.  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,
 visit http://www.verizon.com.
 
     ON THE INTERNET: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and
 biographies, news media contacts and other information are available at
 Verizon's News Center on the World Wide Web (http://www.verizon.com/news).  To
 receive news releases by email, visit the News Center and register for
 personalized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.
 
 SOURCE  Verizon Communications

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