Bell Atlantic Challenges AT&T And MCI Allegations About Local Competition
September 11, 1997
WASHINGTON - Bell Atlantic today set the record straight on its
efforts to open local telephone markets to competition. In a letter
to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the company said
contrary to recent claims made by AT&T and MCI, many
telecommunications carriers are actively competing within the Bell
"The complaints of the long distance companies are simply unfounded as
they relate to Bell Atlantic. Other competitors have entered the
local market in our region and are serving customers," said Tom Tauke,
Bell Atlantic executive vice president for Government Relations.
The letter was signed by Tauke and Edward D. Young, III, Bell Atlantic
vice president and associate general counsel.
Young said, "The new Bell Atlantic has devoted substantial resources,
time and money -- even before passage of the Telecommunications Act of
1996 -- to opening the local network on an accelerated basis. Many
competitors, ranging from small startup companies to substantial
carriers like RCN and MFS, are already taking advantage of that work."
Competitors are entering Bell Atlantic's market area in three ways,
including "unbundling," where competitors use pieces of Bell
Atlantic's network combined with their own to complete calls,
"resale," where competitors simply resell the local network
facilities, and "facilities-based," where competitors physically
connect to the existing local carrier.
Competing carriers have more than 154,000 interconnection trunks in
service in the Bell Atlantic states. They have installed switches and
laid fiber optic cables in all major cities in Bell Atlantic's region.
In addition, Bell Atlantic has installed more than 30,000 unbundled
loops and over 100,000 lines for resale competitors. The company has
the systems in place to handle many more orders than it is receiving.
Bell Atlantic is committed to undergoing performance monitoring,
providing access to interfaces, offering helpful pricing structures
and payment terms, and other significant items that benefit its
Young and Tauke said Bell Atlantic wants to enter AT&T and MCI's
protected, lucrative $70 billion long distance market, and cannot do
this until the barriers to local competition have been eliminated.
Therefore, the company is spending several hundred million dollars this
year to continue opening its network to competitors from Maine to
"The goal of the Telecommunications Act won't be achieved instantly,
but the time has come for everyone to roll up their sleeves and get
the job done so that consumers can see the benefits," they said.
The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications, information and
entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and
5.5 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of
directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the
world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 21 countries.