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Verizon Comments on FCC UNE Decision

News Release

February 19, 2003 –

WASHINGTON -- Today the Federal Communications Commission announced it is adopting new rules for network unbundling obligations of incumbent local phone carriers. The following response should be attributed to Tom Tauke, senior vice president-Public Policy and External Affairs for Verizon.

"The Federal Communications Commission had a great opportunity today and blew it. Rather than bringing stability, certainty and clarity to the regulatory structure for the industry, the commission left a void and handed off the decision-making to the states. This is a recipe for continued disarray in the industry and more litigation.

"The future of telecommunications is broadband, and on this issue the commission appears to have moved in the right direction but may have important details wrong. Moreover, the future investment in the wireline network is tied to a strong financial base for the overall business.

"This is the third time that the FCC has attempted to write rules for network unbundling pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This attempt looks a lot like the other two and we expect a similar result.

"This ruling is yet another sad chapter in the FCC's attempt to thwart the intent of the statute and establish a flawed model for competition in the telephony industry.

"In the long haul, these rules hurt consumers, who are denied the benefits of robust competition and more investment; they hurt workers, who continue to lose their jobs in the communications industry; and they hurt the economy by thwarting the investment and innovation in networks that can deliver great advancements in productivity to our nation.

"I fully expect that Verizon will appeal portions of this order. And Verizon will continue its fight on all fronts -- Congress, courts, states and the FCC -- for real deregulation and real economic growth."

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Media Contact:Larry Plumb, 202-515-2522

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