Bell Atlantic Responds to AT&T Massachusetts Claims

Bell Atlantic Responds to AT&T Massachusetts Claims

February 9, 1999


Jack Hoey or John Johnson,

BACKGROUND -- AT&T today issued a release today requesting that
the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy (DTE)
sponsor an industry-wide forum on competitive, local service issues.
AT&T claimed there were instances when customers attempted to change
their local phone company and as a result lost their telephone service for
some period of time. The following response should be attributed to
Wayne A. Budd, group president, Bell Atlantic-New England.

"As Bell Atlantic moves closer to gaining approval to provide long
distance service, AT&T is crying wolf to mislead the public and seek
government protection in its markets. AT&T made similar groundless
claims in New York. AT&T continues seeking regulatory delays to
prevent us from offering customers long distance service.

"In Massachusetts we process daily up to 1,000 orders from competitors --
and in more than 95 percent of those orders the change in carriers takes
place smoothly. We pledge to continue working with AT&T and more
than 80 other competitors in the Bay State to find ways to improve the
industry's processes and systems. No additional regulatory proceedings
are necessary to address AT&T's allegations.

"At the same time, we agree with AT&T that slamming has no place in
either the long distance or the local phone markets. And we are confident
that AT&T agrees that competition is no excuse for confusing customers,
just as it is no excuse for them losing service. Together we can make
competition work for the benefit of all customers and all carriers.
Together we can bring the benefits of our industry to every region of our
great state."

Editor's Note: In a separate release today, Bell Atlantic refuted similar
complaints AT&T has made about Bell Atlantic's operations in New York.