MCI to Delaware Public Service Commission Don't Give Bell Atlantic a Chance to Compete

MCI to Delaware Public Service Commission:

Don't Give Bell Atlantic a Chance to Compete

December 4, 1996

Media contacts:

Ells Edwards 302-576-5340


MCI doesn't believe in fair competition, according to company
testimony at a Nov. 12 hearing of the Delaware Public Service
Commission. In fact, an MCI attorney told the commission that his
company should get a head start in telecommunications markets before
Bell Atlantic has a chance to compete in the long distance business.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 says that customers should be
allowed to pre-select the company they want for their in-state toll
carrier only when local telephone companies, like Bell Atlantic, are
allowed to enter long distance markets. However, at the PSC hearing,
MCI and AT&T argued they need "presubscription" now to
compete in
Delaware's local toll market - even though this market has been open
to them for years.

MCI and AT&T claimed they couldn't compete with Bell Atlantic unless
the commission gave customers the opportunity to pre-select a carrier
for in-state toll calls, just as customers today select a long
distance carrier.

Bell Atlantic agrees with the new federal Telecommunications Act. At
the hearing, the company argued that the long distance carriers want
presubscription implemented before Bell Atlantic can compete in the
long distance market so they can gain a huge competitive advantage.
The Delaware PSC debate on this issue prompted this exchange between
PSC Vice Chairman Joshua W. Twilley and MCI attorney Jon Lipshultz:

VICE CHAIRMAN TWILLEY: ...I mean you're actually asking us to
you an entry before they are able to receive approval for long
distance. Aren't you? Isn't that what you're really asking for?

MR. LIPSHULTZ: Yes. And we think that would be a benefit to
consumers of this state.

VICE CHAIRMAN TWILLEY: Don't you think we should give Bell
Atlantic a
chance to start on the same day you do?

MR. LIPSHULTZ: No, we don't.

The Delaware PSC voted to begin presubscription by July 31, 1997.

Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:
BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.