Bell Atlantic Responds to MCI WorldCom's Opposition to Full and Fair Competition

Bell Atlantic Responds to MCI WorldCom's Opposition to Full and Fair Competition

Customers Deserve Complete Choice for Long Distance and Local Regional Calling

October 7, 1998


Jack Hoey,
(617) 743-3677

Editors: The following is the Bell Atlantic response to MCI
WorldCom's press release today on ordering 1-plus equal access dialing
for local toll calls in Massachusetts by February 8, 1999. It may
attributed to Robert Mudge, Vice President-Bell Atlantic Massachusetts.

Massachusetts customers deserve complete choice for long distance as
well as regional toll calling.

If MCI had its choice, customers would never be able to choose Bell
Atlantic for long distance calls within the Commonwealth or beyond.
That is the real, ulterior motivation behind MCI's petition and press

The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy
correctly ruled in May 1997 that intraLATA presubscription (1-plus equal
access dialing) should happen when Bell Atlantic is allowed to offer long
distance service to Massachusetts customers. MCI WorldCom is simply
challenging what the department has already properly decided.

MCI neglects to point out that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has
different equal access requirements for states with only one regional
calling area (Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and
Delaware). In other Bell Atlantic states with 1-plus equal access, the
commissions ordered it before the Telecommunications Act was passed
(New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New Jersey).

In passing the act, Congress wanted customers to enjoy the benefits of
full and fair competition for long distance and regional calling. Bell
Atlantic is working hard to make that vision of complete choice a reality
for Massachusetts consumers. However, MCI continues to place
regulatory hurdles in the way.