Bell Atlantic Responds To West Virginia Public Service Commission Order in AT&T Arbitration Over Local Telephone Service Competition

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Bell Atlantic Responds To West Virginia Public Service Commission Order in AT&T Arbitration Over Local Telephone Service Competition

April 22, 1997

Media contacts:

Bell Atlantic
Harry Mitchell
304-344-7562

harry.mitchell@iscorp.bellatlantic.com

The West Virginia Public Service Commission [PSC] late yesterday
[April 21] issued its 138-page decision in an arbitration case filed
by AT&T against Bell Atlantic-West Virginia on a number of issues
related to the linking of the two companies' telecommunications
networks for providing local telephone service. The following may be
attributed to Dennis Bone, president and CEO, Bell Atlantic-West
Virginia:

We're pleased that the West Virginia Public Service Commission has
issued its decision. The PSC's action is an important part of Bell
Atlantic's effort to open the doors for local competition so that we
can in turn begin to offer long distance service to West Virginians.
We look forward to doing so as quickly as possible.

Our initial take on the decision is that it's a mixed bag.

On the one hand, the commission rightfully rejects AT&T's and others'
arguments that Bell Atlantic-West Virginia cannot currently pursue
entry into the long distance market through its filing of a statement
of generally available terms and conditions, which provides pricing
and other terms that open the local telephone market to competitors.
This will benefit West Virginians as Bell Atlantic seeks permission to
offer long distance services in the next few months.

On the other hand, the PSC has set rates that will, in effect, allow
AT&T - a $50 billion corporation - to purchase network elements from
Bell Atlantic at prices below the costs we incur to provide them.

We'll continue to study the order, and we'll examine our options for
redressing some of the more objectionable parts.

###

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