GTE's Supreme Court brief states implementation of Telecommunications Law would be derailed if stay of FCC's pricing rules is lifted

STAMFORD, Conn. -- GTE today filed in the U.S. Supreme Court a brief opposing the applications by the FCC and AT&T; to overturn the stay of the FCC's pricing rules ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

"The arguments made by the FCC and AT&T; are meritless and provide no basis for the extraordinary Supreme Court intervention that they seek," said GTE Senior Vice President and General Counsel William P. Barr. "The Eighth Circuit's carefully crafted opinion properly applied all the factors relevant to a stay."

In its brief, GTE shows that the text and structure of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 plainly commit authority over pricing to state commissions, not to the FCC. It further explains that the FCC's unauthorized pricing rules would have derailed the negotiation and arbitration process set forth in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and would have inflicted irreparable harm on incumbent local exchange carriers.

GTE's brief also makes clear that the Eighth Circuit's limited stay does not affect at all the statutory timetable for the completion of arbitrations. The stay therefore does not delay at all the introduction of local competition, but instead ensures that local competition is implemented in accordance with Congress' vision, not the FCC's.