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Verizon to Cease Costa Rican Operations

July 8, 2005

MULTINATIONAL telecommunicationsfirm Verizon, which employs 150people in Costa Rica, will be concludingall operations here in the next two monthsand leaving the country because of a disputeover this year’s phone books.The U.S.-based company, which hashad the contract with the Costa RicanElectricity Institute (ICE) since 1999,announced its decision July 1 after failednegotiations with ICE in June.The dispute arose in January whenVerizon published the white page directoriesregionally, rather than publishing onedirectory that covers the entire country asin the past (TT, Jan.21). Institute authoritiessaid they had not authorized thechange, and began legal procedures torescind the contract with Verizon, thedaily La República reported.Because Costa Ricans do not haveaccess to phone numbers nationwide intheir phone books, ICE has requestedauthorization from the Public ServicesRegulatory Authority (ARESEP) to offercalls to 113 – an operator-assisted phonedirectory that is accessed nationwide bydialing 113 – for free during the rest of2005. Calls currently cost ¢28.8 ($0.06).The institute has asked state-ownedInternet provider Radiográfica CostarricenseS.A. (RACSA) to take over producingand distributing the phone books,according to La República.

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