Bell Atlantic to Massachusetts Regulators: Open the Gates -- We're Ready to Provide Long Distance

Bell Atlantic to Massachusetts Regulators:
Open the Gates -- We're Ready to Provide
Long Distance

State Filing Shows Local Markets Open,
Telecommunications Act Requirements Met

May 24, 1999


Jack Hoey,

Shannon Fioravanti,

BOSTON -- Bell Atlantic today demonstrated to Massachusetts regulators
that the company's local network is irreversibly open to competitors, and
that federal and state requirements for Bell Atlantic to provide long
distance service in the state are fulfilled.

"We've met or exceeded the expectations Congress established in the
Telecommunications Act," said Wayne Budd, group president --
New England, Bell Atlantic. "And there is no reason for Bell
Atlantic to be locked out of the long distance market any longer."

In a filing with the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and
Energy (DTE), Bell Atlantic showed it has gone the distance to open its
network in myriad ways:

  • Resold Lines: Competitors serve their customers on 138,000
    lines purchased from Bell Atlantic at steeply discounted rates;

  • 98 Competitors: Some 98 companies are vying to provide
    local phone service, either by leasing those lines from Bell
    Atlantic or by buying Bell Atlantic network elements to add to
    their own;

  • Hundreds of Collocation Arrangements: Competitors have
    over 400 collocation arrangements with Bell Atlantic, enabling
    companies to place their own equipment in our central office
    facilities to serve customers easily. More than 100 additional
    arrangements are underway, giving competitors potential
    access to 68 percent of Bell Atlantic's residence lines and 81
    percent of the company's business lines;

  • Thousands of Loops for Competitors: Bell Atlantic is
    providing more than 3,600 unbundled local loops to

  • 911 Accessible: Bell Atlantic provides easy, non-
    discriminatory access to 911 service, and has more than
    215,000 facilities-based competitors' lines in the emergency
    911 database;

  • Operator Services Available: Bell Atlantic has provided
    easy, affordable options to competitors using our directory
    assistance services and dial-"0" operator call
    completion services;

  • Ample Trunking Facilities: As of February, 1999, there are
    more than 108,000 interconnection trunks in service between
    competitors and Bell Atlantic.

  • Robust Operations Support Systems: Bell Atlantic's
    electronic systems available to competitors are capable of
    processing quantities of transactions and orders that exceed the
    expected peak demand. These systems are among the most
    efficient in the telecommunications industry.

During a news conference today, Budd said, "The success story we
unveil is a shared one.

The DTE has decided literally hundreds of issues over the past several
years to put in place the right conditions for opening local markets. As a
result of the DTE's work, any company that says it can't compete with us
simply won't. These naysayers shouldn't be allowed to stand in the way of
real consumer choice as well as economic growth and development any

Budd said that the growing demand by competitive local exchange carriers
(CLECs) for new interconnection services is expected to result in a 100
percent increase in jobs at the Franklin Street resale and unbundling
centers over the next year.

"And the outlook improves as we enter long distance," Budd
added. "Breaking the oligopoly of AT&T, MCI WorldCom and
Sprint will spur increased investment in technology, lead to new services,
create business growth and new job opportunities.

"As the state's largest private employer, our success will have a
huge, positive impact on the economic growth of the

The DTE is expected to consider Bell Atlantic's filing over the next 90
days. Following the DTE's review, the company is expected to file with
the Federal Communications Commission, which must act within 90 days.

"We fully expect this process to move smoothly and to deliver to our
customers what they've been demanding since the passage of the
Telecommunications Act: competitively priced local, regional toll and
long distance calling plans, all on one bill," Budd said.
"Simplicity and trust will be the order of the day for Bell Atlantic.
We plan to put an end to the gimmicks and confusion perpetuated by the
long distance oligopoly."

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine
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.