WASHINGTON, D.C., 4 June 2004 – LAWFUEL – Today, the U.S. Court of …

WASHINGTON, D.C., 4 June 2004 – LAWFUEL – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declined to stay its decision voiding many of the FCC’s so-called “network unbundling” rules pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The following response should be attributed to Tom Tauke, executive vice president-public affairs & communications – Verizon

“The court’s decision is good news for the industry. Decisions like this ensure that all parties have an incentive to negotiate agreements to replace the overturned rules and invest in facilities.

“At Verizon we have three goals in these negotiations. We want to ensure wholesale customer access to the Verizon network, negotiate rates that move toward a fair return on capital so that all carriers have an incentive to invest, and carry as much traffic as possible on our network at commercially reasonable rates.

“Consumers should be unaffected by the changes that will be negotiated. Existing service arrangements will remain in place. State regulation of retail prices ensures that local dial-tone rates won’t rise. And intense competition between wireline, wireless and Internet-based voice services constrains the retail price for flat-rate call-anywhere packages that increasingly are the option of customer choice.”

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