Verizon Ready to Jump into Massachusetts Long-Distance Market with Simple, Innovative Plans

Consumers, Businesses Can Shop Verizon

For Variety of Low-Cost, Prepaid and International Plans



Apr 17, 2001, 01:00 ET from Verizon

    BOSTON, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Long Distance today announced a
 dozen innovative, straightforward long-distance calling plans that will bring
 the true benefits of competition -- choice and value -- to Massachusetts
 callers.
     Yesterday, Verizon received approval from the Federal Communications
 Commission (FCC) to offer long-distance service in Massachusetts.  The plans
 unveiled today will be available April 26 to consumers and businesses across
 the state -- the date Verizon is allowed to begin offering long distance in
 the Bay State.
     Verizon's long-distance plans have competitive, per-minute rates without
 pricing gimmicks.  Most plans do not have monthly charges or minimums, so
 customers do not need to "study the fine print" when ordering service or
 coping with the bills.
     "It's long distance made simple from Verizon," said Maura Breen,
 president, Verizon Long Distance.  "We're offering Massachusetts residents and
 businesses long-distance calling plans that are innovative and easy to
 understand.  We've made it easy -- one provider, one bill and one call for
 customer service.
     "Both residential and business customers told us they want to 'keep it
 simple' and our plans do that.  We offer customized calling plans tailored to
 fit our customers' lifestyles and calling preferences," she said.
     With Verizon's most popular plan, Timeless(SM), consumers pay ten cents a
 minute for all long-distance calls with no monthly plan fees.   It's not
 uncommon for customers of other long-distance companies to pay as much as
 25 cents a minute for their calls.
     Verizon's plans, available in 37 other states, have proven very popular
 with consumers and businesses alike.  The Telecommunications Research and
 Action Center, an independent watchdog consumer group, estimates that New
 Yorkers saved $220 million on telecommunications services last year after
 Verizon began offering long-distance service there.
 
     Innovative Calling Plans for Consumers and Businesses
     Consumers will choose from five domestic plans and one international plan.
 Business customers will have four domestic options as well as two
 international plans.  In addition, Verizon will have toll-free plans and
 calling cards for consumers and businesses.  The company will offer mid-sized
 to large businesses customized packages of high-speed data services.  Except
 for the international plans, Verizon's rates will be based on state-to-state,
 direct-dialed domestic calls.
     "We will offer innovative plans that let consumers buy long-distance
 service in advance or at a low flat rate available only through the Internet.
 There's a plan here for everyone -- from the highest to lowest volume
 long-distance callers," Breen said.
 
     Here are the consumer long-distance plans, which will be available in
 Massachusetts:
 
     The SmartTouch(SM) Calling Plan is an innovative, pre-paid long-distance
 plan. Calls are 8 cents a minute all the time for state-to-state calls from
 home and 9 cents a minute for in-state long-distance calls.  Rates are
 competitive for international calls and vary per country.  There are no
 monthly plan fees or surcharges. Voice prompts tell customers how much money
 is in their account, how many minutes the call lasted and the remaining
 balance at the end of every call, or by checking the Web site --
 www.mysmarttouch.com.  Calls made away from home are 25 cents a minute with no
 surcharges, even when using a pay phone.
 
     The Timeless Calling Plan offers consumers a straight 10-cents-a-minute
 calling plan for long-distance calls -- all day, every day.  There are no
 monthly recurring plan charges and no minimum usage requirements.
 
     The e-Values(SM) Calling Plan is available only through the Verizon Long
 Distance Web site, www.verizon-ld.com.  E-Value customers pay 5 cents a minute
 on weekends and 9 cents a minute on weekdays -- with no monthly calling-plan
 fees or minimum usage requirements.
 
     The TalkTime Calling Plan provides a choice of two pre-paid monthly
 packages with sliding, per-minute rates.  The more time purchased, the lower
 the per-minute rate.  Consumers can buy 300 minutes for $24 a month or
 500 minutes for $39 a month.  The bulk-rate plans have effective rates as low
 as 7.8 cents per minute with no hidden fees or surcharges.  Verizon also plans
 to introduce a 60-minute plan for $5 a month.
 
     The Best Times(SM) Calling Plan is designed for consumers who make more
 than $35 worth of long-distance calls per month.  Consumers pay 5 cents a
 minute during off-peak calling hours (5 p.m. - 8 a.m. weekdays and weekends)
 and 7 cents a minute during peak calling hours (8 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays).
 The monthly plan charge is $4.75.
 
     The International Savings Plan is for consumers who regularly make
 international calls. The plan offers low, flat rates for international
 long-distance calling.  U.S. rates are 9 cents a minute to the United Kingdom
 and Canada, 12.8 cents a minute to Japan and 25 cents a minute to Portugal.
 There's a $3 monthly charge.
 
     Verizon Massachusetts customers who subscribe to local packaged plans --
 SoundDeal(R), ValuePack or Local Package - will be able to add long-distance
 service at 8 cents a minute from Verizon Long Distance.  The plans offer a
 variety of value-added services, and may include local service, for a flat
 monthly rate.
     Verizon Long Distance will offer a calling card for domestic calls made
 away from home at 35 cents a minute.  Calling card calls that cannot be
 carried by Verizon Long Distance are carried by USAN at rates that it sets.
 The plans available for Massachusetts businesses will include:
 
     The FirmRate(SM) Calling Plan offers a 9-cents-a-minute rate for calls --
 all day. There are no monthly plan fees or minimum charges.  Optional term
 plans reduce the 9-cents-per-minute rate. Toll-free calling can be added at
 the same rate, with no additional monthly charges or sign-up fees.
 
     The SimpleOptions(SM) Calling Plan was designed for business customers who
 regularly spend more than $100 a month on long-distance charges.  The plan
 offers a variety of low, per-minute rates based on volume and term
 commitments.  With the Business Link(SM) Solutions offer, an additional
 5-percent discount is available to customers who also subscribe to Centrex and
 other local products.  Toll-free and international calls apply to minimum
 spending levels. There are no monthly plan fees.
 
     The FirmRate Plus(SM) Calling Plan has a 7-cents-per-minute rate for
 long-distance customers who subscribe to certain local services, such as
 Centrex.  There are no monthly plan fees or term plan commitments.
 
     The e-Values for Business(SM) Plan is available only on the Web site at
 www.verizon-bizld.com.  It offers a flat rate of 8 cents a minute. There are
 no monthly plan fees or minimum charges.
 
     Talk to the World is a flat-rate plan that will save money for businesses
 that make a minimum of three international calls per month from the U.S.
 There is a $3 monthly service fee and businesses can reach 250 foreign
 countries and locations.  Rates are 8 cents a minute to the United Kingdom and
 Canada and 15 cents a minute to Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Hong Kong.
 
     The International Regional Calling Plan works best for businesses that
 frequently call a single country or region.  Customers pay a $3 a monthly fee
 and pre-select a region to receive the lowest flat rate to the countries they
 call the most.
 
     Toll-Free Service enables businesses to stay in touch with customers and
 suppliers by using an "800," "888" or another toll-free number.  Toll-free
 service offers businesses the same per-minute rates as basic dial tone
 service.
 
     "We look forward to bringing long-distance service, simplicity and savings
 to additional states this year," Breen said.  "It is gratifying to see the
 ripples of competition unleashed by Verizon's entry into long distance."
     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 (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
    BOSTON, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Long Distance today announced a
 dozen innovative, straightforward long-distance calling plans that will bring
 the true benefits of competition -- choice and value -- to Massachusetts
 callers.
     Yesterday, Verizon received approval from the Federal Communications
 Commission (FCC) to offer long-distance service in Massachusetts.  The plans
 unveiled today will be available April 26 to consumers and businesses across
 the state -- the date Verizon is allowed to begin offering long distance in
 the Bay State.
     Verizon's long-distance plans have competitive, per-minute rates without
 pricing gimmicks.  Most plans do not have monthly charges or minimums, so
 customers do not need to "study the fine print" when ordering service or
 coping with the bills.
     "It's long distance made simple from Verizon," said Maura Breen,
 president, Verizon Long Distance.  "We're offering Massachusetts residents and
 businesses long-distance calling plans that are innovative and easy to
 understand.  We've made it easy -- one provider, one bill and one call for
 customer service.
     "Both residential and business customers told us they want to 'keep it
 simple' and our plans do that.  We offer customized calling plans tailored to
 fit our customers' lifestyles and calling preferences," she said.
     With Verizon's most popular plan, Timeless(SM), consumers pay ten cents a
 minute for all long-distance calls with no monthly plan fees.   It's not
 uncommon for customers of other long-distance companies to pay as much as
 25 cents a minute for their calls.
     Verizon's plans, available in 37 other states, have proven very popular
 with consumers and businesses alike.  The Telecommunications Research and
 Action Center, an independent watchdog consumer group, estimates that New
 Yorkers saved $220 million on telecommunications services last year after
 Verizon began offering long-distance service there.
 
     Innovative Calling Plans for Consumers and Businesses
     Consumers will choose from five domestic plans and one international plan.
 Business customers will have four domestic options as well as two
 international plans.  In addition, Verizon will have toll-free plans and
 calling cards for consumers and businesses.  The company will offer mid-sized
 to large businesses customized packages of high-speed data services.  Except
 for the international plans, Verizon's rates will be based on state-to-state,
 direct-dialed domestic calls.
     "We will offer innovative plans that let consumers buy long-distance
 service in advance or at a low flat rate available only through the Internet.
 There's a plan here for everyone -- from the highest to lowest volume
 long-distance callers," Breen said.
 
     Here are the consumer long-distance plans, which will be available in
 Massachusetts:
 
     The SmartTouch(SM) Calling Plan is an innovative, pre-paid long-distance
 plan. Calls are 8 cents a minute all the time for state-to-state calls from
 home and 9 cents a minute for in-state long-distance calls.  Rates are
 competitive for international calls and vary per country.  There are no
 monthly plan fees or surcharges. Voice prompts tell customers how much money
 is in their account, how many minutes the call lasted and the remaining
 balance at the end of every call, or by checking the Web site --
 www.mysmarttouch.com.  Calls made away from home are 25 cents a minute with no
 surcharges, even when using a pay phone.
 
     The Timeless Calling Plan offers consumers a straight 10-cents-a-minute
 calling plan for long-distance calls -- all day, every day.  There are no
 monthly recurring plan charges and no minimum usage requirements.
 
     The e-Values(SM) Calling Plan is available only through the Verizon Long
 Distance Web site, www.verizon-ld.com.  E-Value customers pay 5 cents a minute
 on weekends and 9 cents a minute on weekdays -- with no monthly calling-plan
 fees or minimum usage requirements.
 
     The TalkTime Calling Plan provides a choice of two pre-paid monthly
 packages with sliding, per-minute rates.  The more time purchased, the lower
 the per-minute rate.  Consumers can buy 300 minutes for $24 a month or
 500 minutes for $39 a month.  The bulk-rate plans have effective rates as low
 as 7.8 cents per minute with no hidden fees or surcharges.  Verizon also plans
 to introduce a 60-minute plan for $5 a month.
 
     The Best Times(SM) Calling Plan is designed for consumers who make more
 than $35 worth of long-distance calls per month.  Consumers pay 5 cents a
 minute during off-peak calling hours (5 p.m. - 8 a.m. weekdays and weekends)
 and 7 cents a minute during peak calling hours (8 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays).
 The monthly plan charge is $4.75.
 
     The International Savings Plan is for consumers who regularly make
 international calls. The plan offers low, flat rates for international
 long-distance calling.  U.S. rates are 9 cents a minute to the United Kingdom
 and Canada, 12.8 cents a minute to Japan and 25 cents a minute to Portugal.
 There's a $3 monthly charge.
 
     Verizon Massachusetts customers who subscribe to local packaged plans --
 SoundDeal(R), ValuePack or Local Package - will be able to add long-distance
 service at 8 cents a minute from Verizon Long Distance.  The plans offer a
 variety of value-added services, and may include local service, for a flat
 monthly rate.
     Verizon Long Distance will offer a calling card for domestic calls made
 away from home at 35 cents a minute.  Calling card calls that cannot be
 carried by Verizon Long Distance are carried by USAN at rates that it sets.
 The plans available for Massachusetts businesses will include:
 
     The FirmRate(SM) Calling Plan offers a 9-cents-a-minute rate for calls --
 all day. There are no monthly plan fees or minimum charges.  Optional term
 plans reduce the 9-cents-per-minute rate. Toll-free calling can be added at
 the same rate, with no additional monthly charges or sign-up fees.
 
     The SimpleOptions(SM) Calling Plan was designed for business customers who
 regularly spend more than $100 a month on long-distance charges.  The plan
 offers a variety of low, per-minute rates based on volume and term
 commitments.  With the Business Link(SM) Solutions offer, an additional
 5-percent discount is available to customers who also subscribe to Centrex and
 other local products.  Toll-free and international calls apply to minimum
 spending levels. There are no monthly plan fees.
 
     The FirmRate Plus(SM) Calling Plan has a 7-cents-per-minute rate for
 long-distance customers who subscribe to certain local services, such as
 Centrex.  There are no monthly plan fees or term plan commitments.
 
     The e-Values for Business(SM) Plan is available only on the Web site at
 www.verizon-bizld.com.  It offers a flat rate of 8 cents a minute. There are
 no monthly plan fees or minimum charges.
 
     Talk to the World is a flat-rate plan that will save money for businesses
 that make a minimum of three international calls per month from the U.S.
 There is a $3 monthly service fee and businesses can reach 250 foreign
 countries and locations.  Rates are 8 cents a minute to the United Kingdom and
 Canada and 15 cents a minute to Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Hong Kong.
 
     The International Regional Calling Plan works best for businesses that
 frequently call a single country or region.  Customers pay a $3 a monthly fee
 and pre-select a region to receive the lowest flat rate to the countries they
 call the most.
 
     Toll-Free Service enables businesses to stay in touch with customers and
 suppliers by using an "800," "888" or another toll-free number.  Toll-free
 service offers businesses the same per-minute rates as basic dial tone
 service.
 
     "We look forward to bringing long-distance service, simplicity and savings
 to additional states this year," Breen said.  "It is gratifying to see the
 ripples of competition unleashed by Verizon's entry into long distance."
     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 (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

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