Bell Atlantic and NYNEX Call on FCC to Reform Interstate Access Charges to Meet Demands of Competitive Markets

January 30, 1997

CONTACT: Bell Atlantic - Michel Daley, 202-392-1021, michel.l.daley@bell-atl.com; NYNEX - Jamie DePeau, 202-336-7825, notes.jdepeau@

Bell Atlantic and NYNEX Call on FCC to Reform

Interstate Access Charges to Meet Demands of Competitive



1997--Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have called upon the Federal

Communications Commission (FCC) to overhaul access charges

-- the mechanism used by local telephone companies to charge

long distance carriers for use 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. Under their proposal, the long

distance companies would continue to pay for their use of

the local telephone network through flat-rated charges.

"Federal and state policymakers have consistently

determined that long distance carriers should pay their fair

share to support the local telephone network," said Tom

Tauke, executive vice president, government affairs, NYNEX.

"As the FCC attempts to reform the rate structure so

that 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 the local network to 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 Tilley."

Bell Atlantic Vice President and Associate General

Counsel Edward D. Young, III said, "By asking the FCC to

issue a regulatory presubscription 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 continuing 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


- Establish a new market-based access rate structure

that significantly lowers per minute access prices, while

establishing a new rate structure based on flat-rated


- Give local exchange carriers the flexibility to

respond to the competitive marketplace by offering new

services and pricing arrangements 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 reductions.

- 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


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 markets 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 -- Fiberoptic Link

Around the Globe -- the world's longest undersea fiber optic

communications cable.

Copies of the Joint Comments of Bell Atlantic and

NYNEX are available by calling Jamie DePeau at 202-336-7825

or at Bell Atlantic's News Center on the World Wide Web