Bell Atlantic-Massachusetts says phone markets open to competition

Bell Atlantic-Massachusetts says phone markets open to competition

73 interconnection agreements with other carriers

August 5, 1998


Jack Hoey,
(617) 743-3677

Background -- Bell-Atlantic-Massachusetts issued the following statement correcting misinformation in an MCI press release. This response may be attributed to Robert Mudge, vice president, Bell Atlantic-Massachusetts.

BOSTON -- Once again, MCI continues to put up roadblocks and smokescreens to protect itself from the real competition that Bell Atlantic-Massachusetts will provide when it enters the long distance service market.

Despite MCI's campaign of disinformation, the local phone market in Massachusetts is open to competition as evidenced by 73 interconnection agreements Bell Atlantic has signed with competitors.

Massachusetts customers already are benefitting from that competition. Bell Atlantic has lowered rates by $177 million since 1995. Some $98 million of those reductions have gone to residence customers in the form of lower toll rates and improved optional calling plans.

As a matter of fairness, Bell Atlantic favors allowing MCI to market 1-plus dialing for regional toll calls in eastern and western Massachusetts when Bell Atlantic is allowed to carry a long distance call from Springfield to Boston. That test for fairness is embodied in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 by treating states with in-state long distance calling, like Massachusetts, differently than states like Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire, which do not.

MCI is wrong when it says the Federal Communications Commission order on 1-plus dialing by Feb. 8, 1999 applies to Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy has the final say on the timing and Bell Atlantic has faith in the ability of our state regulators to fully and fairly implement all the provisions of the act.

Bell Atlantic is spending more than $1 billion to meet or exceed the checklist requirements of the Telecom Act. Bell Atlantic-Massachusetts continues to work hard to file for state approval by late this year or early 1999. We look forward to offering Massachusetts customers one-stop shopping for both their local and long distance calling.