Bell Atlantic Opens Door For AT&T To Compete In Nation's Capital

Bell Atlantic Opens Door For AT&T To Compete In Nation's Capital

September 5, 1997

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Paul Miller



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Bell Atlantic and AT&T have signed a

comprehensive local interconnection and resale agreement for service

in Washington, D.C. This follows similar agreements last month

between Bell Atlantic and AT&T in neighboring Maryland and Virginia.

"We're opening up our local markets to a telecommunications giant.

There should be no question that Bell Atlantic is dead serious about

meeting the requirements of the Telecommunications Act," said Bill

Freeman, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-Washington.

Freeman said he looks forward to the day when his company can compete

on all fronts with AT&T, including long distance. "We're determined

to break the long distance oligopoly and offer our customers real

choices for their phone service," he said. AT&T and the other long

distance giants have vigorously opposed local telephone company entry

into their market.

Bell Atlantic can seek to offer long distance service to Washington,

D.C., consumers and businesses once the Federal Communications

Commission (FCC) determines that the company has met the requirements

of the Telecommunications Act to make the local facilities available

to competitors. To this end, Bell Atlantic has entered into over 260

interconnection agreements.

The arrangements permit AT&T to offer local service to customers by

reselling Bell Atlantic's local service, repackaging Bell Atlantic's

network elements, or interconnecting AT&T's facilities to Bell

Atlantic's facilities, to the extent that AT&T chooses to build its

own facilities.

As required by law, this agreement permits AT&T to buy local telephone

service from Bell Atlantic and sell the service under its own brand,

as if it were their own.

In addition, Bell Atlantic has agreed to offer AT&T numerous services,


  • access to Bell Atlantic databases and ordering systems;

  • interconnection at various points in the Bell Atlantic network;

  • collocation of AT&T equipment in Bell Atlantic central offices;

  • interconnection to other companies with whom AT&T is not directly


  • number portability, and

  • access to what are commonly called "unbundled network elements."

The agreements will allow the completion of calls from Bell Atlantic

customers to AT&T customers, and they will allow customers to keep

their phone number when they change carriers.

The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and

NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications, information and

entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and

5.5 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 21 countries.