SOURCE: XO Communications

April 29, 2008 17:20 ET

Leading Competitors Urge FCC to Dismiss Verizon's Petition for Regulatory Forbearance in Virginia Beach

Competitors Charge Verizon Using Same Data Reviewed and Rejected in Commission's Unanimous December 2007 Decision Denying Forbearance Rate Hikes

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - April 29, 2008) - A group of over 30 competitive telecommunications service providers today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to dismiss or deny a new Verizon petition that seeks avoidance of pro-competitive pricing rules within the Virginia Beach metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

Verizon seeks regulatory forbearance from competitive wholesale pricing rules of the 1996 Telecommunications Act within those portions of Virginia Beach where Cox Communications is the leading cable provider. The competitive providers noted that Verizon's latest petition relies on the same supporting data used by the former Baby Bell in its prior bid for deregulation in the Virginia Beach MSA and for five other Eastern markets in 2007. The FCC unanimously denied all six petitions in December 2007.

Heather B. Gold, senior vice president of external affairs at XO Communications, said: "The Commission should not be taken in by this attempt to dress up the same facts to gain another chance at forbearance, and should immediately dismiss Verizon's petition. The ink is barely dry on the FCC's rejection of Verizon's last forbearance petition, yet here comes Verizon submitting a nearly identical bid for one of the markets for which forbearance was denied."

Francie McComb, senior vice president - law and public policy at Cavalier Telephone, said: "Verizon's so-called 'new' forbearance petition for Virginia Beach is a rehashing of the same petition already unanimously rejected by the Commission less than five months ago. We believe that Verizon should not take up valuable FCC resources in this manner."

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