May 7, 1997
CONTACT: Jamie DePeau, 202/336-7825; Eric Rabe, 703/974-3036
Bell Atlantic - NYNEX Statement on Access Reform and Universal
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- NOTE TO EDITORS: The FCC written orders on Universal
Service, access reform and price caps are not yet available. However, the following
observations are based on the discussion at this morning's FCC open meeting and other
information available at this time.
On Access Charges:
"We fail to see how the FCC's access charge rate reductions are justified,
and we will read the full order to determine the impact on all of our customers,"
said Tom Tauke, executive vice president, NYNEX government affairs. "Still,
the FCC has moved in the right direction by setting a flat charge rather than a per
minute charge to cover the fixed costs of providing access service."
"The FCC has recognized our concerns and moderated the flat rate changes
in charges for business customers," said Edward D. Young III, Bell Atlantic
vice president - external affairs and associate general counsel. "We are, however,
disappointed that the FCC has gone beyond the requirements of the Telecom Act by
mandating lower access charges rather than letting the market drive down prices."
On Universal Service:
"Based on what we know now, we generally support the direction taken
by the FCC on Universal Service funding, but we remain concerned that several commissioners
stated an intent to move to a much larger fund," said Tauke. "The Universal
Service fund is sufficient to meet the objectives of the Telecom Act."
"Under the FCC plan, there is a clear mechanism to pay for connecting
schools and libraries to online information resources like the Internet," said
Edward D. Young III, Bell Atlantic vice president - external affairs and associate
general counsel. "The Commission also seems to have met the need to assure affordable
rural telephone service without overburdening other telephone customers.&