Bell Atlantic Says AT&T Is Desperate To Maintain Stranglehold on Consumers

Bell Atlantic Says AT&T Is Desperate
To Maintain Stranglehold on Consumers

Response Filed As AT&T Seeks Stay of FCC Ruling

December 27, 1999


Susan Butta,

Background -- After years of exhaustive review by both the New York
Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Federal Communication
Commission (FCC), Bell Atlantic was granted permission by the FCC to
enter the long distance market in New York State on Dec. 22. On Dec. 23
AT&T asked the FCC to stay the decision and said that it plans to ask the
United States Court of Appeals for a stay at the end of the day today.
Today Bell Atlantic filed its response to AT&T's request for a stay. The
following statement may be attributed to Michael E. Glover, associate
general counsel for Bell Atlantic.

AT&T's stay request is just a last gasp effort to delay the inevitable long
distance competition that it has tenaciously fought to block by every
possible means. It makes clear that AT&T is desperate to maintain a
stranglehold on New York consumers.

This in no way affects our plans to begin providing long distance service
next week. We are confident that AT&T's request to put long distance
competition on hold will be denied. AT&T's motion merely rehashes the
same tired claims that were exhaustively considered the New York PSC
and the FCC, and were rejected on the merits.

The facts are simple. The local market in New York is open to all
competitors that wish to provide local telephone service to consumers, and
all three major long distance incumbents already offer a bundled package
of local and long distance services. The Telecommunications Act of 1996
is clear: once this record has been established and proven to state and
federal regulators, Bell Atlantic has earned the right to offer long distance
service to those same consumers.

Now that Bell Atlantic has been allowed to enter the long distance market
in New York, consumers will reap the benefits. Delaying true competition
by even one day at the behest of AT&T will harm consumers and deprive
them of real choice in local and long distance telecommunications