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Bell Atlantic to Pass $13 Million in Savings on to
Telephone Customers to Benefit from Low Inflation
November 4, 1996
Sharon Shaffer (215) 963-6200
Shirley Risoldi (412) 633-5574
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- For the third year in a row, Bell
Atlantic-Pennsylvania will lower some business and residential
rates and access charges paid by long-distance companies, reductions
that will save $13 million for four million customers, the company said
The rate reductions, which are subject to the approval of the
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), are the result of low
inflation and progressive state regulations that allow the company to
operate more efficiently. Regulations enacted in 1994 by the PUC have
enabled the company to reduce charges by $5.9 million in 1995, $1
million in 1996 and the current proposal for a $13 million reduction.
These yearly reductions will have saved Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania
customers $33 million by the end of next year.
Long-distance companies will enjoy reductions of $6.5 million in
access charges -- the rates they pay to complete calls through the
Bell Atlantic network.
"We hope AT&T, MCI and Sprint will keep their promise to share
$6.5 million in access charge reductions with all their customers,"
said William Harral,
president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania.
"We'll be watching. In the past, these companies have either
the savings or shared them only with their most lucrative customers."
In addition to the cuts in access charges, the Bell Atlantic proposal
filed today with the PUC offers reductions in the following areas:
- Lower prices to establish phone service with Bell Atlantic. The
cost of connecting or moving residential service will drop $5,
from $40 to $35. "This proposal could make connecting to our
network easier for many customers," Harral said.
- Lower prices for certain business services. Some business
customers will see rate reductions in usage options of over $2.6
"We hope to share these reductions with our customers starting Jan.
1997," Harral said. "We're confident the PUC will agree with
proposed savings plan."
Under the plan approved by the PUC in 1994, the company may ask the
PUC once a year to approve price changes based on the rate of
inflation. "Since inflation was low for the past 12 months, we are
asking the PUC for approval to decrease some of our rates," Harral
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.