Bell Atlantic Seeks Open Video System Status
for Dover Township, N.J., Video Network
Bell Atlantic-New Jersey Files Request for OVS Certification with
October 8, 1996
ARLINGTON, Va. - Bell Atlantic-New Jersey late yesterday
Federal Communications Commission for certification as an open video
system [OVS] operator in Dover Township, N.J., under rules recently
established by the commission. The Dover Township network originally
was authorized to operate under the commission's "video
rules, which were repealed with the passage of telecommunications
reform legislation earlier this year.
"Since our Dover Township video system began commercial operation in
January, consumers have begun to enjoy the benefits of competition,
with increased choice, lower prices and higher quality video
services," said Len
Lauer, Bell Atlantic-New Jersey president and CEO.
"Operating this network under the new streamlined open video
rules will allow us to continue to bring these benefits to Dover
Telecommunications reform legislation established open video systems
as an option for companies such as Bell Atlantic to compete with cable
television incumbents. Under OVS, diverse video providers can offer
programming to consumers using Bell Atlantic's video network. As an
OVS operator, Bell Atlantic will be subject to streamlined and reduced
regulatory processes in exchange for ensuring open and
non-discriminatory access to the system capacity.
The OVS certification process gives interested parties five business
days after the FCC receives Bell Atlantic-New Jersey's certification
request to file any comments on or opposition to the request. The
commission has 10 days from receipt of the Bell Atlantic-New Jersey
request to act on it. If the commission has not acted by that date,
the request is considered approved.
Bell Atlantic-New Jersey also asked the FCC for an extension to allow
the company to complete the conversion of its Dover Township network
to an open video system. The FCC had set Nov. 6 as the date by which
companies operating systems authorized by the video dialtone rules
must convert those systems to one of four regulatory frameworks. The
company requested an extension from Nov. 6 until March 1, 1997, to
complete its conversion of the Dover Township system.
As part of this conversion, Bell Atlantic-New Jersey will conduct an
open enrollment for channel capacity on its Dover Township video
network, which has a capacity of 384 digital channels. This
enrollment period will begin after release of the FCC's Public Notice
of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey's Notice of Intent to operate the Dover
Township Open Video System. The company intends to file its Notice of
Intent within the next few weeks.
One of the providers on this system will be "http://www.bell-atl.com/bvs">Bell Atlantic Video
Services [BVS], which has announced that it will begin offering video
programming in Dover Township. BVS has signed a letter of intent to
acquire certain assets of FutureVision of America, a division of
Digital Broadcast Applications Corp. that currently provides
programming in Dover Township. Both parties plan to conclude the deal
within the next couple of months.
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.