Bell Atlantic Offers Evidence of Flourishing Local Phone Competition in Pennsylvania

Bell Atlantic Offers Evidence of Flourishing Local Phone Competition in Pennsylvania

July 1, 1998

Media contact:

Sharon Shaffer,
215-963-6200 or 412-633-5574

Harry Mitchell,

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Competition in Pennsylvania's local telephone
market is real and growing rapidly, a Bell Atlantic executive told a state
senate committee today.

"Competition is here and it's flourishing," said Bill Mitchell, vice president-
external affairs for Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania, at a hearing of the
Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. "And the
telecommunications market in Pennsylvania is poised for an explosion in
competition over the next year."

The following facts show the rapid growth rate in Pennsylvania's local
phone market:

Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) [as of 06/30/98]: 91

Interconnection agreements [as of 06/30/98]:

Agreements signed -- 76

Agreements approved by Public Utility Commission -- 32

Minutes of Use exchanged between Bell Atlantic - Pa. and CLECs:

Total for 1997 -- 1.398 billion

January-May 1998 -- 1.425 billion

Nearly 57,000 trunks link Bell Atlantic - Pa.'s and CLECs' networks;
these trunks can support up to 570,000 CLEC lines.

Unbundled loop growth:

12/31/97 -- 11,000

05/31/98 -- 18,000 [60 percent growth]

Resold lines growth:

12/31/97 -- 30,000

05/31/98 -- 66,000 [633 percent average quarterly growth rate]

{Includes 37,000 business lines; 29,000 residential lines}

Further evidence:

  • 94 percent of Bell Atlantic - Pa. business lines, 87 percent of our
    residential lines are in switching offices where at least one competitor
    is present, either through collocation of their equipment in Bell
    Atlantic central offices, facilities deployed, unbundled loops, resale or
    ported numbers.

  • As of March 1998, collocation is complete or in progress in 84 of 387
    switching offices in Pa., giving collocators immediate access to 68
    percent of business lines and 49 percent of residential lines.

  • A study shows that 76 percent of Bell Atlantic - Pa. business
    customers and 61 percent of residential customers are served by
    switching offices where at least one facilities-based competitor is

    "We're off to a good start in developing a competitive market in
    Pennsylvania, but all competitors are not yet allowed to compete in all
    markets," said Mitchell. Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania currently is prohibited
    from offering long distance service in its service area until it has met a
    series of requirements included in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

    Mitchell concluded by urging the committee not to let the self-serving
    remarks of some competitors -- who claim that Bell Atlantic is hindering
    competition in local markets -- keep Pennsylvanians from realizing the full
    benefits of robust competition in all markets.

Bell Atlantic -- formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX --
is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry.
With more than 41 million telephone access lines and 6.7 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.