Bell Atlantic More Confident Than Ever of Long-Distance Approval

Bell Atlantic More Confident Than Ever of
Long-Distance Approval

Company Has Addressed Concerns Raised by Department of

November 9, 1999


Susan Butta,

WASHINGTON -- Bell Atlantic told the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) late yesterday that it has addressed the two concerns
raised by the Department of Justice (DOJ) about its long-distance

In reply comments, the company again demonstrated to the FCC that its
application to provide long-distance service to more than eight million
homes and businesses in New York should be approved.

Based on its painstaking two-and-a-half-year review, the New York Public
Service Commission (PSC) verified that Bell Atlantic has met the
requirements to enter the long-distance market in New York.

"With the exception of two narrow issues DOJ agreed that Bell
Atlantic has done all it must to 'fully and irreversibly' open the local
telecommunications market in New York," said Tom Tauke, senior
vice president for Government Relations at Bell Atlantic. "On those
two issues -- relating to "unbundled loops" and "flow-through"
of orders -- we have addressed the Department's

The DOJ raised concerns that affect about one percent of the
"unbundled loops" that Bell Atlantic provides each month in
New York. The Department also questioned whether Bell Atlantic's
support systems could adequately handle future volumes of orders that
flow through its systems. The Department confirmed that Bell Atlantic is
satisfactorily handling current demand.

"The DOJ acknowledged that it did not have a complete record of
Bell Atlantic's actual performance on those matters," Tauke noted.
"The New York PSC, however, has looked at these same issues
based upon a full record and is supporting the application."

On the issue of "unbundled loops" -- or making piece parts of
the telephone line available to competitors at discounted prices -- Bell
Atlantic demonstrated that the Department's concerns over a small subset
of issues have been addressed.

The PSC reconciled data received from Bell Atlantic and competing
carriers and confirmed that Bell Atlantic's overall on-time performance
meets the test for providing "hot-cuts" -- or live cut-overs -- to
competing carriers.

Regarding Bell Atlantic's ability to provide digital subscriber line (DSL)
loops, Bell Atlantic's latest performance data demonstrate that new
procedures put in place to address this concern are working.

In addition to the New York PSC, more than 35 consumer groups --
including the AARP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the
National Consumers League and the National Urban League -- and two
competitors have filed comments in support of Bell Atlantic's ground-
breaking efforts in New York.

Bell Atlantic filed its long-distance application at the FCC on Sept. 29.
The filing demonstrates how the company has met the checklist of long-
distance entry requirements detailed in the Telecommunications Act of

This checklist contains the criteria regional Bell companies must meet to
open their local networks to competitors. Fulfilling this checklist is a
prerequisite for a Bell company to receive federal permission to offer
long-distance service within its local service area.

If the application is approved, Bell Atlantic will become the first regional
Bell company to offer long-distance in its own service area, providing one-
stop shopping for domestic and international telecommunications services
to all of its customers in the state.
This filing reinforces the ample evidence that competition is thriving in the
New York telecommunications marketplace:

  • Competitors are providing 1.3 million local phone lines in New York;

  • Bell Atlantic has 74 agreements with competitors to serve customers
    using Bell Atlantic facilities;

  • Bell Atlantic has provided more than 349,000 interconnection trunks
    to competitors and approximately 800 collocation arrangements in
    place throughout New York;

  • Competitors have deployed nearly 6,000 miles of fiber optics and at
    least 47 local switches;

  • 1,068 three-digit exchange codes have been assigned to competitors,
    giving them access to more than 10 million local phone numbers.

The FCC has until Dec. 28 to decide on Bell Atlantic's long-distance

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines and nearly 10
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