AT&T Numbers and Claims A Shell Game

AT&T Numbers and Claims A Shell Game

Bell Atlantic Disproves AT&T's Baseless Claims

February 9, 1999


Eric Rabe,

Mark Marchand,

NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic today refuted inaccurate and reckless
claims by AT&T about Bell Atlantic's local competition operations
in New York and Massachusetts.

In a report to the New York Public Service Commission (PSC)
today, the company provided documentation which debunks the
poorly researched claims made by AT&T in a Nov. 5 news conference
and echoed by the company's chairman in several speeches. AT&T
made similar claims during a news conference today in Boston.

"AT&T has cried 'wolf' once again with yet another news
conference, this time in Boston. The report we made today in New
York lays it all out in black and white. It's time to move beyond
AT&T's baseless efforts to mislead the public and seek government
protection in its markets," said James Cullen, president and
chief operating officer for Bell Atlantic.

"After a lengthy and thoughtful review process in New York, which
included meetings with AT&T officials and New York PSC staff
since November, two things are abundantly clear: The evidence
AT&T did provide to support its claims failed miserably, or they
simply refused to provide data at all," Cullen added. "And in
many cases, AT&T's data was so poor even they couldn't explain

Cullen added that in a subsequent New York filing, AT&T has begun
replacing its original claims with new claims that attack
industry guidelines agreed to by AT&T, the PSC and Bell Atlantic.
These so-called carrier-to-carrier methodologies and standards
are designed to govern the way local telephone companies and
local competitors interact.

"With AT&T's apparent move away from its original claims in New
York and subsequent shift toward criticizing industry rules which
it has already agreed to, AT&T's motives are clear: delay our
entry into long distance," Cullen added. "This is part of AT&T's
overall strategy to distort, delay and deny."

In an October PSC filing and November news conference, AT&T made
several accusations about Bell Atlantic's provision of wholesale
local phone services to AT&T for re- sale to that company's

In its report today, Bell Atlantic showed that during the month
AT&T said it experienced problems -- September, 1998 -- the
company provided a timely order commitment to AT&T over 96
percent of the time. AT&T had reported erroneously that Bell
Atlantic did not meet the prescribed 24- or 48-hour order
commitment 85 percent of the time.

Each time a competitive local exchange company submits an order
for a wholesale telephone line, Bell Atlantic must respond back
with a confirmation within 24 hours if the order was submitted
electronically, or within 48 hours if the order was submitted

Other points Bell Atlantic made in today's filing include:

  • Bell Atlantic met AT&T's due date for line installation 95
    percent of the time during September of last year. AT&T had
    claimed Bell Atlantic was late 46 percent of the time.
  • Electronic system-to-system transmittals of orders from AT&T
    to Bell Atlantic were accomplished within 24 hours. AT&T had
    claimed this process was not completed within 24 hours.
  • AT&T, in many cases, did not provide any supporting detail
    when it reported a problem to Bell Atlantic. This did not allow
    Bell Atlantic to quickly and properly investigate and resolve

"Indeed, in many cases the problem rested with AT&T's own
processes and record keeping," said Cullen. "Even the total
number of orders AT&T said it presented for the month of
September 1998, was way off.

"Our systems for supporting competitive local phone companies are
the best in the country," Cullen added. "No company has done more
for local telephone competition than Bell Atlantic. In New York
alone, we work with more than 130 competitive local companies and
we process upwards of 3,000 orders from them daily -- and we do
it right. And we talk with these companies every single day to
find ways to improve our processes and systems."

Providing support and systems for competitive local phone
companies is part of a 14-point federal checklist Bell Atlantic
must meet in each state before it can apply to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to sell long distance service in
New York and other parts of its service territory. Bell
Atlantic's operations support systems in New York are undergoing
the final stages of a third-party test before Bell Atlantic
completes the review process in New York and makes its filing
with the FCC. The company expects to make its FCC filing for New
York by the end of the first quarter.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access
lines and more than eight million wireless customers worldwide,
Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced
wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless
services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's
largest investors in high- growth global communications markets,
with operations and investments in 23 countries.