Supreme Court Upholds FCC Decision on Key Provisions of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996
Bell Atlantic Says Decision Has Limited Effect in the
Wake of Competition
January 25, 1999
BACKGROUND -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today to uphold the
FCC's decision on pricing jurisdiction and certain other rules on how
local telephone companies connect to one another's networks. Bell
Atlantic is currently studying today's Supreme Court decision and will
continue to evaluate its impact over the next several days.
The following response should be attributed to James G. Cullen, president
and chief operating officer of Bell Atlantic.
While many of these rules have been debated in the courts, Bell Atlantic
has moved very aggressively to open its network to all those who choose
to compete with us. As of the end of 1998 Bell Atlantic had spent $1
billion and dedicated more than 1,000 employees to opening the local
marketplace to competition.
In addition, all the state public service commissions in our serving area
have set prices that are consistent with the FCC's rules.
Bell Atlantic has already committed to offering "platforms"" in New York
on terms that are consistent with today's Supreme Court decision.
"Platforms" provide a way to get all the pieces of the network so
competitors can offer the same services to their customers as Bell Atlantic
Finally, today's decision makes it clear that elements of our network do
not have to be unbundled when they are available from other sources,
including pieces competitors can provide themselves. This is especially
significant because competitors in the Bell Atlantic region already have
widely deployed their own switches, fiber, operator services and other
elements that they clearly do not need from us.