State of New Jersey
Department Of The Public Advocate
240 West State St.
P.O. Box  851  
Trenton, NJ 08625-0851
Phone: (609) 826-5090    Fax: (609) 984-4747


For Immediate Release: 
April 3, 2006
Public Advocate

For Further Information

Nancy Parello:

Robyn Roberts
(Rate Counsel)
Tel: 973-648-2290

N.J. Ratepayer Advocate Files Appeal Challenging FCC’s Granting Approval of Verizon’s Request for Broadband “Deregulation”

Newark, N.J.—The New Jersey Ratepayer Advocate, Seema M. Singh, today filed an appeal in the U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) March 20, 2006, announcement of the elimination of common carrier regulation and the application of the commission’s Computer Inquiry rules to Verizon’s broadband business services.

The FCC allowed Verizon Communications to be exempt from regulations in areas such as privacy, pricing, the unbundling of its enterprise broadband facilities and Universal Service. Universal Service provides funding assistance such as telephone service discounts for low-income consumers and communications projects for schools and libraries.

“The FCC’s decision to eliminate federal and state regulation for Verizon’s high capacity data services is seriously flawed,” said Singh. “The FCC ignored our claim that the granting of forbearance authority to the FCC by Congress violates the U.S. Constitution and is harmful to competition, consumers and the public interest.”

Singh said she concurred with the dissenting comments by FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein who outlined the harm to the public interest of deregulation.

The Division of the Ratepayer Advocate is an independent state agency that represents the interests of consumers of electric, natural gas, water/sewer and telecommunications and cable TV service. It serves as an active participant in every proceeding whenever New Jersey companies seek changes in rates or services. The Ratepayer Advocate also gives consumers a voice in setting long-range energy, water, and telecommunications policy that will affect the delivery of services well into the future. Additional information on this and other matters can be found at the Division of Ratepayer Advocate’s website at