Bell Atlantic Files Petition to Hasten Deployment
Of High-Speed Network
Company Seeks Competitive Open-Market for Advanced Technologies
January 27, 1998
WASHINGTON - Bell Atlantic took an unprecedented step today when it
asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put aside
out-of-date regulations that stand in the way of rapid deployment of
high-speed broadband networks. In a filing with the FCC, Bell Atlantic
became the first company to urge federal regulators to remove
regulatory roadblocks using authority granted under the
Telecommunications Act of 1996.
"The existing regulatory structure for telegraph and telephone was
built decades before the Internet was created. Broadband services
delivered over a high-speed network should not be regulated," said Tom
Tauke, senior vice president for government relations at Bell
Atlantic. "The FCC should act now to make clear that it is not going
to apply the existing regulatory model to the Internet. By doing
that, the FCC will speed the deployment of high-speed broadband
services for all Americans."
Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 directs the FCC to
take whatever steps are necessary to encourage the deployment of
advanced technology. Bell Atlantic is requesting that pricing and
other regulatory restrictions - designed for voice calls - should not
apply to high-speed broadband networks. Specifically, the filing asks
that Bell Atlantic's high-speed broadband network should not be
subject to long distance restrictions and requirements to sell parts
of its network at wholesale prices.
"We can provide better services to our customers over Internet
backbones with interLATA relief," said Edward D. Young III, senior
vice president and associate general counsel for Bell Atlantic.
"There is insufficient investment in backbone capacity in the
northeast and mid-Atlantic. It's resulting in slower speeds for data
transmission as the amount of traffic increases. Universities,
corporations and individuals all benefit from our ability to meet this
Congress recognized that significant investment is needed to keep pace
with advancements in technology. Bell Atlantic has the resources and
the incentive to move quickly into this market.
"Boston University strongly endorses Bell Atlantic's request that it
be permitted to provide high-bandwidth data communication services
between LATAs and throughout their service region," said Dr. John H.
Porter, vice president for Information Systems and Technology at
Boston University. "The market would benefit greatly from additional
providers and increased competition. We are encouraged that Bell
Atlantic has both the resources and the interest to make advanced
services available to the research and educational community that we
have previously been unable to acquire," he said.
Bell Atlantic is asking the FCC for a decision within 90 days.
"We are looking forward to beginning a discussion with the commission
and policymakers about how the outmoded regulations of the past can be
streamlined to best meet the telecommunications challenges of the
future," Tauke said.
Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 40.5 million telephone access lines and six 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.