Bell Atlantic And NYNEX Call On FCC To Reform Interstate Access Charges
To Meet Demands Of Competitive Markets
January 30, 1997
Joint Comments of
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have called
upon the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to overhaul access charges -- the
used by local telephone companies to charge long distance carriers for
of the local networks to complete long distance calls.
In a joint filing made yesterday, the two companies advocated the
establishment of a new market-based access rate structure that
significantly lowers per minute charges to long distance companies.
the proposal, the long distance companies would continue to pay for their
use of the local network through flat-rated charges.
"Federal and state policymakers have consistently determined that
distance carriers should pay their fair share to support the local
telephone network," said Tom Tauke, executive vice president,
affairs, NYNEX. "As the FCC attempts to reform the rate structure
it makes sense in a competitive market, that policy should not change.
Long distance carriers are trying to avoid their fair share of local
network costs and to shift the total cost of maintaining local networks
local ratepayers. That's wrong. And we are urging the FCC to resist
efforts to turn rate restructuring into a massive shift of network costs
from the large customers of long distance carriers to the proverbial Aunt
Bell Atlantic Vice President and Associate General Counsel HREF="http://www.ba.com/speeches/profiles/eyoung.html">Edward D.
Young, III, said, "By asking the FCC to issue a regulatory
for our rates, the long distance companies are asking the commission to
become the Dr. Kervorkian of future network investment. We cannot give
the long distance companies billions of dollars to pocket while we
continue to invest in the modern technology that our customers want.
Local telephone companies have already reduced their rates to long
distance companies by $9 billion over the last six years. Instead of
passing those reductions on to their customers, long distance companies
have kept the money and continued to raise rates."
In their comments, Bell Atlantic and NYNEX urged the FCC to:
- Recognize that the commission has in place a price cap system that
automatically reduces real access prices.
- Establish a new market-based access rate structure that
significantly lowers per minute access prices, while establishing a
rate structure based on flat-rated charges.
- Give local exchange carriers the flexibility to respond to the
ompetitive marketplace by offering new services and pricing
without regulatory constraints when barriers to entry in the local
telephone market are eliminated.
- Allow future access price reductions in response to competition
while ensuring that consumers will not pay for these access charge
- Reject the long distance carriers' efforts to use regulation to
determine lower rates. That approach is contrary to the vision of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, and would destroy the incentive for
future network development.
Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is at
the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication marketplace.
Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in Telecom Corporation of
New Zealand and is actively developing high-growth national and
international business opportunities in all phases of the industry.
NYNEX is a global communications and
media corporation that provides a full
range of services in the northeastern United States and high-growth
around the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Gibraltar,
Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech
Republic. The corporation is a leader in telecommunications, wireless
communications, directory publishing and video entertainment and
information services. NYNEX is also managing sponsor of FLAG --
Link Around the Globe -- the world's longest undersea fiber optic
Copies of the Joint Comments of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX are available by
calling Jamie DePeau at 202-336-7825 or href="http://www.bell-atl.com/filings/129joint.pdf">viewing the comments
on the Web using ="http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/download.html">Adobe Acrobat.