Bell Atlantic's Response to MCI Ad Campaign

Bell Atlantic's Response to MCI Ad Campaign

March 16, 1998

Media contacts:

Eric Rabe


MCI launched a new advertising campaign today claiming tht the local
telecommunications markets are not open to competition. The latest
ads feature a Russian character. Following is Bell Atlantic's
response to MCI's announced advertising campaign:

"Nonsenseky. These ads are as phony as MCI's commitment to local
residential service. Come to think about it, an evil empire is an apt
metaphor for MCI since both are expert in propaganda and

"There is nothing stopping MCI from competing in the local market.
Bell Atlantic has more than 420 interconnection agreements with
competitors, including MCI. We are spending $1 billion and dedicating
1,000 employees to opening our local market to competition.

"Nevertheless, MCI announced in January that they were pulling out of
the local residential market. If MCI is not competing in the local
residential market it is because they won't, not because they can't.

"MCI has the same economic incentive to compete as companies, such as
Teleport, which are competing in our region and around the country.
The fact that Teleport reported year to year growth of 89 percent in
October 1997 and was recently acquired by AT&T, shows that local
competition is paying off. Would AT&T spend $11.3 billion on a
company that couldn't be competitive?

"MCI's complaints about local competition are inaccurate and