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Statement: Commissioner Copps

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Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

July 20, 2001
Michael Balmoris 202-418-0253


Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today voted to approve Verizon’s application to provide in-region, interLATA – or long distance – service originating in Connecticut. Verizon’s section 271 long distance application for Connecticut serves two communities in Connecticut, Byram and Greenwich, with a total of approximately 60,000 lines, representing about 2% of the access lines in the state. Approval of Verizon's application promises substantial benefits for the state's consumers in the form of enhanced competition in both the local and long distance markets.

The Commission, applying the same standard it has developed and applied over the last several long distance applications, has now approved six states for in-region, long distance service. Since the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC has denied five long distance applications. Currently, there is one pending long distance application before the Commission, Verizon’s application for Pennsylvania, on which the Commission must issue its decision by September 19, 2001.

With the 1996 Act, Congress envisioned fundamental, pro-competitive changes in the telecommunications markets by making a Bell Operating Company’s (BOC) entry into the long distance market subject to the BOC first opening its local service monopoly to competition. A BOC satisfies this contingency by demonstrating compliance with section 271 of the 1996 Act. After a BOC files a section 271 long distance application with the Commission, the Commission has 90 days to determine whether a BOC has taken the statutorily required steps to open its local telecommunications markets to competition, including compliance with the 1996 Act’s section 271 14-point “competitive checklist.”

The Commission emphasizes that Verizon must continue to comply with the section 271 checklist requirements, and the Commission has a number of enforcement tools at its disposal, including imposing penalties or suspension of approval.

Action by the Commission July 20, 2001 by Memorandum Opinion and Order (FCC 01-208). Chairman Powell and Commissioners Tristani, Copps, and Martin; with Commissioner Copps issuing a separate statement.

- FCC –

CC Docket No. 01-100 Common Carrier Bureau Staff Contact: Kathy Farroba at 202-418-1580

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