FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 1996
Arlington, VA -- Bell Atlantic Communications, Inc., the company's new long-distance unit, will take advantage of the new telecommunications reform law by seeking the regulatory go-ahead to offer long-distance service nationwide.
Today the company announced it has officially launched its drive to bring true long-distance competition to consumers and businesses by filing applications with regulators in North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina and Texas. Bell Atlantic anticipates it will be in the marketplace in these states as it gains approval from state regulators.
"Today, Bell Atlantic is making history, becoming the first of the regional Bell companies to enter the long-distance business, which until now has been dominated by the Big Three," said Bell Atlantic Communications President Al Binford.
Until President Clinton signed the telecommunications reform legislation on Feb. 8, some of the strongest potential competitors -- companies such as Bell Atlantic -- were barred from the long-distance business.
"That is no longer the case," Binford said. "The legislation breaks down the barriers that prevented us from offering full long-distance service. Bell Atlantic will be a formidable competitor."
Last fall, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile became the first Bell-affiliated cellular company to offer long-distance service to its customers, starting in Connecticut and New York. On Feb. 8, the cellular company announced the service would be extended to its entire customer base from Maine to the Carolinas, beginning next month.
Binford, a former executive at AT&T, noted that Bell Atlantic will resell services of facilities-based interexchange carriers. "A number of major national carriers have been competing to provide facilities for us," he said. "The terms we obtain from these carriers ultimately will translate into better value for our customers."
He added that Bell Atlantic will back up its new services with a strong marketing campaign.
Under the new law, Bell Atlantic is still prohibited from offering long-distance service within its region. In order to offer the service within its territory, the company first must meet a competitive checklist designed to assure the local telephone market is open to competitors.
"We intend to move quickly to meet those requirements so we can offer long-distance service in our home region," said Binford.
He added that with today's announcement, Bell Atlantic "meets the commitment we made last week -- to act on our long-distance plans within five days of President Clinton's signing of the new telecommunications legislation."
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.
for more information, contact:
- Shirley Risoldi, 412-633-3423
Eric Rabe, 703-974-3036
Bell Atlantic's Initial Long Distance Territories