Bell Atlantic and NYNEX Call on FCC to Reform Interstate Access Charges to Meet Demands of Competitive Markets
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January 30, 1997
CONTACT: Bell Atlantic - Michel Daley, 202-392-1021, email@example.com; NYNEX - Jamie DePeau, 202-336-7825, notes.jdepeau@
Bell Atlantic and NYNEX Call on FCC to Reform
Interstate Access Charges to Meet Demands of Competitive
WASHINGTON, D.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 30,
1997--Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have called upon the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to overhaul access charges
-- the mechanism used by local telephone companies to charge
long distance carriers for use of the local networks to
complete long distance calls.
In a joint filing made yesterday, the two companies
advocated the establishment of a new market-based access
rate structure that significantly lowers per minute charges
to long distance companies. Under their proposal, the long
distance companies would continue to pay for their use of
the local telephone network through flat-rated charges.
"Federal and state policymakers have consistently
determined that long distance carriers should pay their fair
share to support the local telephone network," said Tom
Tauke, executive vice president, government affairs, NYNEX.
"As the FCC attempts to reform the rate structure so
that it makes sense in a competitive market, that policy
should not change. Long distance carriers are trying to
avoid their fair share of local network costs and to shift
the total cost of maintaining the local network to local
ratepayers. That's wrong. And we are urging the FCC to
resist efforts to turn rate restructuring into a massive
shift of network costs from the large customers of long
distance carriers to the proverbial Aunt Tilley."
Bell Atlantic Vice President and Associate General
Counsel Edward D. Young, III said, "By asking the FCC to
issue a regulatory presubscription for our rates, the long
distance companies are asking the Commission to become the
Dr. Kervorkian of future network investment. We cannot give
the long distance companies billions of dollars to pocket
while continuing to invest in the modern technology that our
customers want. Local telephone companies have already
reduced their rates to long distance companies by $9 billion
over the last six years. Instead of passing those reductions
on to their customers, long distance companies have kept the
money and continued to raise rates."
In their comments, Bell Atlantic and NYNEX urged the
- Recognize that the Commission has in place a price
cap system that automatically reduces real access
- Establish a new market-based access rate structure
that significantly lowers per minute access prices, while
establishing a new rate structure based on flat-rated
- Give local exchange carriers the flexibility to
respond to the competitive marketplace by offering new
services and pricing arrangements without regulatory
constraints when barriers to entry in the local telephone
market are eliminated.
- Allow future access price reductions in response to
competition while ensuring that consumers will not pay for
these access charge reductions.
- Reject the long distance carriers' efforts to use
regulation to determine lower rates. That approach is
contrary to the vision of the Telecommunications Act of
1996, and would destroy the incentive for future network
Bell Atlantic Corp. (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.
NYNEX is a global communications and media
corporation that provides a full range of services in the
northeastern United States and high-growth markets around
the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand,
Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland,
Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The corporation is a leader
in telecommunications, wireless communications, directory
publishing and video entertainment and information services.
NYNEX is also managing sponsor of FLAG -- Fiberoptic Link
Around the Globe -- the world's longest undersea fiber optic
Copies of the Joint Comments of Bell Atlantic and
NYNEX are available by calling Jamie DePeau at 202-336-7825
or at Bell Atlantic's News Center on the World Wide Web