12.03.1996Corporate

Bell Atlantic responds to D.C. Public Service Commission's ruling on telephone competition

The excessive discount only clears the way for resellers with deep-pockets to enter the local market without having to create jobs or invest in the city.

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission (PSC) late yesterday (Dec. 2) issued an order describing the terms and conditions for introducing local telephone competition in Washington, D.C. The order requires Bell Atlantic to offer an interim 24.7 percent wholesale discount on the company's retail prices to resellers that want to provide telephone service in the District. In response to the order, William Freeman, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - Washington, made the following statement:

The PSC established an interim wholesale discount rate that is too high. The excessive discount only clears the way for resellers with deep-pockets, like AT&T, MCI and Sprint, to enter the local market without having to create jobs or invest in the city. At the same time these companies are raising their long-distance prices, they stand ready to rob the District of substantial economic development benefits by not building their own networks here.

However, this is an interim decision that was driven by short deadlines specified in the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The Commission still has the opportunity to remedy the decision when it chooses a final wholesale discount rate in another proceeding. We are confident that when the PSC takes a closer look at the facts, its final discount rate will meet the requirements of our new telecommunications law and encourage continued and new investment in the District.

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