Bell Atlantic Agrees to Credit For Wholesale Customers

Bell Atlantic Agrees to Credit For Wholesale Customers

Company Will Credit $10 Million Under Agreement to Resolve New York OSS Issues

March 9, 2000


Susan Butta,

Mark Marchand,

NEW YORK - Bell Atlantic will provide $10 million in credits to wholesale customers here to address concerns raised about the performance earlier this year of operating support systems (OSS) that serve those customers.

In addition, the company will make a $3 million voluntary contribution to the federal treasury. As part of an agreement reached with federal and state regulators, the company has also agreed to operate under an enhanced set of performance standards.

"We are committed to providing the best possible service to all our customers, and we have agreed to back up that commitment with guarantees," said Tom Tauke, senior vice president for government relations at Bell Atlantic. "Indeed, local phone competition in New York is thriving and it continued to thrive despite the software issues we worked to fix earlier this year. Competitors have already captured over 1.5 million local phone lines."

Earlier this year, Bell Atlantic and its wholesale customers discovered software glitches that affected the provision of automatic notification to wholesale customers of the status of orders at various steps in the processing system. Since that time, the company has increased the capacity of those systems and developed new software.

Bell Atlantic's OSS now process up to 12,000 orders every day in New York.

In addition to filing regular performance reports with the New York Public Service Commission, Bell Atlantic has also agreed to provide the Federal Communications Commission with special reports on the performance of its systems. These reports will include statistics to demonstrate that Bell Atlantic is providing the notifications for ordering and billing as required by its wholesale customers. Failure to meet the federal performance standards will result in further payments. The new measures will be included in the existing performance measurement plan in New York.

"Overall, this agreement provides an even greater service guarantee to our wholesale customers," Tauke said.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 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.