Bell Atlantic Responds to Pennsylvania PUC's Decision To Combine Consideration of Telecommunications Issues

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Bell Atlantic Responds to Pennsylvania PUC's Decision To Combine
Consideration of Telecommunications Issues

September 3, 1998


Sharon Shaffer,
215-963-6200 or 412-633-5574
Harry Mitchell,

Background -- The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission today
announced that it will combine the consideration of a number of
telecommunications-related issues -- including universal service, access
charge reform and Bell Atlantic's entry into long distance -- currently
before the commission into a "global settlement conference." The
following statement may be attributed to Daniel J. Whelan, president and
CEO, Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania:

"We're pleased that the Public Utility Commission is moving forward to
resolve the many critical issues facing our industry through this combined
proceeding. Bell Atlantic will be an active participant in the process, which
we hope will bring a reasonable, prompt resolution to these issues.

"Local competition is here today, and it's growing tremendously.
Numerous companies throughout the commonwealth are offering local
phone service. Those who wrongly claim competition isn't developing are
led by AT&T and MCI, two of the companies who could provide potent
competition for local service but who, to date, have been more content to
complain. Only when Bell Atlantic is able to offer long distance service
head-to-head against these long distance giants will AT&T and MCI really
begin to compete in the local market for businesses and, particularly, for
residential customers.

"We have maintained all along that the best outcome for Pennsylvanians is
full competition in all markets by all players. Let's move the game out of
the hearing room and on to the field of competition."

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