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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 1996
BELL ATLANTIC RESPONSE TO FCC INTERCONNECTION
The Federal Communications Commission today took a major step
implementing a key provision of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
The agency announced new rules for opening the local telephone network
to companies seeking to provide local service in competition with Bell
Atlantic and other regional Bell operating companies. The following
response statement may be attributed to Edward D. Young III, vice
president - external affairs and associate general counsel, Bell
We commend the Commission for successfully meeting the Act's schedule
and crafting an order that appears to establish a reasonable mechanism
to introduce local competition. The true "winners" created by
Commission's action today are consumers, who will enjoy the benefits of
greater choices for both local and long distance telephone service.
With this order, we are confident that we will be in the long distance
business in the first half of 1997.
We are pleased that the FCC has properly indicated that it intends to
complete its universal service and access charge reform proceedings
rather than arbitrarily terminating those payments, and has not
mandated major changes to the present system.
The Commission, by establishing guidelines for the states, also has
recognized that Congress clearly intended that the states work with
the industry on pricing. We will continue to work directly with new
entrants to negotiate terms, and with the states in an arbitration
process when necessary.
Of course, we have yet to see the final order. Once we've had the
opportunity to fully study it, we will have a much better idea of how
well the Commission has carried out its mandate. Then we will develop
our strategy for implementing the new rules.
- Shannon Fioravanti, (703) 974-5455
Jay Grossman (215), 963-6521