Computer Industry and Regional Telephone Firms Join Together to Accelerate Widespread Availability of Fast Internet Services to Consumers



Computer Industry and Regional Telephone Firms Join
Together to Accelerate Widespread Availability of Fast
Internet Services to Consumers

Companies to Present Landmark Broadband Access
Proposal to FCC

December 7, 1998

Media contact:  

John Schneidawind, BellSouth Public Relations (202)463-4183;

Bill McCloskey, BellSouth Public Relations (202)463-4129;

Cherry Kinlaw, Public Relations Manager, Consumer Products, Compaq Computer Corporation (281)927-8167;

Greg Lund, Gateway Country Public Relations (605)232-1757;

William Giles, Intel Public Relations (503)264-7550;

David Schlosser, SBC Public Relations (202)326-8844;

Susan Butta, Bell Atlantic Public Relations (202)336-7883;

Nancy Bernstrom, U S West Public Relations (202)429-3105;

Bob Bishop, GTE Public Relations (202)463-5206;

Alison O'Brien, Waggoner/Edstrom Public Relations for Microsoft (503)245-0905;

Fiona Branton, ITIC (202)626-5751;

Linda Bloss-Baum, BSA (202)872-5500

Click here to view Letter from Computer
Industry and Telephone Companies to Chairman Kennard.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 -- Major computer industry and telephone companies
today announced completion of a unified proposal to be presented to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The goal of this proposal is to
speed availability of high-speed Internet access services, such as ADSL.
The companies involved include: Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Compaq Computer
Corporation, Gateway, GTE, Intel, Microsoft, SBC, and US West. Also in the
alliance are the Information Technology Industry Council and the Business
Software Alliance.

The companies will present this proposal today to the FCC as a means of
encouraging telephone company investment in high-speed services for

Today's proposal, once adopted by the FCC, would establish a set of ground
rules that support rapid investment in high-speed infrastructure by the
telephone companies while ensuring a competitive playing field. The FCC
has an open proceeding on making advanced telecommunications services
available to American consumers as required by the 1996 Telecommunications

"Today's announcement marks a significant win for consumers," said Rod
Schrock, Senior Vice President and Group General Manager, Consumer
Products Group, Compaq Computer Corporation. "Our customers tell us they
are clamoring for faster Internet connections. This proposal will
ultimately give consumers the fastest Internet experience possible by
accelerating deployment of high- speed ADSL Internet access."

"The leading computer industry companies realize that regulation of
bandwidth deployment is their problem, too," said William Reddersen,
BellSouth's Group President, Value Added Services. "They also realize that
the more incentives we have to deploy faster Internet pipes, the sooner
consumers can benefit from advanced communications and information
services delivered over the Internet."

"This agreement represents another significant step towards Intel's goal
of widespread deployment of affordable broadband services," said Les
Vadasz, Senior Vice President, Corporate Business Development, Intel
Corporation. "Recently, a cross industry effort successfully defined and
delivered a global, low cost, consumer-friendly ADSL standard, known as
G.Lite (G.992.2). Today's agreement on these principles should provide a
catalyst for the adoption of regulatory policies that will both foster the
efforts of the new competitors and strengthen the local telephone
companies' investment incentives to offer G.Lite and other broadband

"I applaud the efforts of these companies to speed the availability and
lower the cost of high-speed Internet connections for Americans, said
Henry Geller, former head of the National Telecommunications Information
Administration and former FCC general counsel. "This is a fine example of
cross-industry collaboration and we urge the FCC to support this private
sector initiative."

The initiative comes one week after the White House announced an effort
with the FCC, Commerce Department and U.S. Trade Representative to push
for increased private investment in high-speed networks so that consumers
and businesses can be free from slow Internet service.

The principles of the proposal are being presented to the FCC in meetings
between FCC Commissioners and officials from the computer and telephone
industries. The key points of the proposal include:

  • The promotion of competition in the local exchange data communications

  • Incumbent telephone companies will give competitors greater access to
    their central offices;

  • All Internet service providers will continue to have access to the
    broadband networks of the telephone companies;

  • Unnecessary restrictive regulations will be lessened on the incumbent
    telephone companies;

  • The regional Bell companies will be able to provide long-distance data
    communications if such freedom would substantially reduce the cost of
    delivering high-speed Internet connections to consumers.

If adopted by the FCC, the principles of this proposal to which the
computing companies and local telephone companies have agreed would
represent a major step forward for a faster Internet available to the mass
market, according to Compaq's Schrock. He added that the principles will
promote the deployment of new services while also promoting competition in
the telephone market.

"And the American consumer will benefit through faster, lower-cost access
to the Internet," Schrock said.


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