Bell Atlantic Refutes Competitors' Self-Serving Claims

Bell Atlantic Refutes Competitors' Self-
Serving Claims

Company Stands by Vast Evidence Demonstrating That
Massachusetts' Local Telephone Market is Open

July 21, 1999


Jack Hoey,

BOSTON -- MCI WorldCom and several competitive local companies
have filed a joint petition with the Massachusetts Department of
Telecommunications and Energy (DTE) opposing Bell Atlantic's May 24
filing which demonstrated that the company has met the
Telecommunications Act checklist for entry into long distance. The
following statement can be attributed to Robert Mudge, Bell Atlantic vice
president for Massachusetts

There is nothing surprising in the desperate attempts by our competitors
who are using every tactic they can to delay Bell Atlantic's entry into the
Massachusetts long distance marketplace, and to further deny Bay Staters
real choice in long distance. Sprint, MCI and AT&T already control 90
percent of the residential long distance market in Massachusetts. To
protect their own interests, they continually refuse to acknowledge the vast
body of evidence demonstrating that our local telephone network in
Massachusetts is wide open to competitors.

This filing is more proof that our competitors will seek to litigate
endlessly, create cumbersome processes, use phony front groups and delay
the review of our long distance filing at every turn. They want a
"Massachusetts roadmap" that would have us forever driving
in circles while they market both local and long distance service to
lucrative business customers and ignore consumers.

We suggest that this latest coalition support the rigorous process being
mapped out by the Department of Telecommunications and Energy (DTE)
to address any legitimate concerns of competitors.

In our May 24 filing with the DTE, Bell Atlantic demonstrated that we
have met the requirements of the Telecommunications Act by irreversibly
opening local telephone markets in Massachusetts. We have spent over $1
billion and devoted hundreds of employees to ensuring that any company
that wants to offer local telephone service in Massachusetts can do so.

As a result, some 40 companies -- serving local customers over more than
400,000 telephone lines -- are actively competing with us either over their
own networks or by reselling Bell Atlantic phone lines.

Our operating support systems -- which competitive local phone
companies in both New York and New England use thousands of times
each day as they serve customers -- have received high marks from an
independent auditor, following a year of testing as part of our long-
distance filing in New York. The DTE has indicated that it will use the
same independent auditor to test any systems in Massachusetts that differ
from those in New York and Bell Atlantic has welcomed this testing. We
have some of the best operating support systems in the country, and we're
working hard to improve them even more each day.

We are confident the facts will show that we've opened our local network
and earned the right to offer long distance service in Massachusetts.