Bell Atlantic Decries AT&T's Continuous Delay Tactics

Bell Atlantic Decries AT&T's Continuous
Delay Tactics

Actions Further Impede Full Competition in Pennsylvania

February 3, 2000


Harry Mitchell,

Sharon Shaffer,

BACKGROUND - The Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg today
declined to return jurisdiction of the global telecommunications order to
the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The Commission had asked
the court to return jurisdiction to the agency so it could consider a
settlement proposal by a diverse group of telecommunications companies
and consumer organizations, including Bell Atlantic, Sprint, GTE, the
state Office of Consumer Advocate and the Small Business Advocate.
AT&T, MCI WorldCom and several other parties opposed the
Commission's request. The following statement should be attributed to
Daniel J. Whelan, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania:

"We're surprised and disappointed that the court has declined to
return this matter to the Commission for resolution. AT&T and its allies
are pulling out every stop to impede Bell Atlantic's long-distance entry in
Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, their selfish tactics will continue to delay
full telecommunications competition in Pennsylvania.

"This ruling delays Commission consideration of a compromise
proposal from more than a dozen different consumer groups and
companies that would benefit competitors, as well as residential and
business customers throughout the Commonwealth. This proposal also
would accelerate full competition for local and long-distance services in

"We're considering all of our options."