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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 1996
BELL ATLANTIC, JONES AGREE TO INTERCONNECT
TELEPHONE NETWORKS IN VIRGINIA
First cable-telephone pact comes 100 days
after signing of Telecom Act
Richmond and Alexandria Va. - An historic agreement
announced today by
Bell Atlantic-Virginia and Jones Communications will usher in local
telephone competition for both residential and business customers in
the state and accelerate Bell Atlantic's entry into the long-distance
The 58-page pact, which has been filed with the Virginia State
Corporation Commission for approval, is the nation's first local
telephone service interconnection agreement negotiated under the 1996
Telecommunications Act that provides for both residential and business
telephone service competition. It is also the first comprehensive
interconnection agreement with a local telephone service competitor by
either Jones or Bell Atlantic.
The agreement, formally between Bell Atlantic-Virginia Inc., and Jones
Telecommunications of Virginia Inc., sets the terms for direct
connection of the two companies facilities in Virginia, enabling Jones
to provide both residential and business telephone service using its
own digital switching and fiber-optics based cable TV network.
Bell Atlantic and Jones will each provide full network signaling to
the other, so that advanced services, like Caller
ID, will work
for calls from one to the other. In addition, the agreement enables
Jones to use components of Bell Atlantic's existing network, in
combination with Jones's own facilities, to provide services in areas
where Jones does not yet have full-featured facilities in place.
"The agreement meets the 14-point 'checklist' required by the
Telecommunications Act, and, when approved by the Federal
Communications Commission, will allow Bell Atlantic for the first time
to offer long-distance service to its Virginia customers," said Bell
Atlantic Vice Chairman James G. Cullen .
The new federal legislation states that local telephone networks must
be opened to competition before the regional Bell companies can
provide long-distance service within their own service areas. The
companies must fulfill requirements of the checklist on a
"This groundbreaking agreement is a major milestone for our
our industry and our company," Cullen said. "It is
that Bell Atlantic is absolutely serious about opening its markets to
competition as soon as possible. We now look forward to reaching
agreements with other local telephone service competitors in our
"We are very excited about bringing our customers the benefits of
competition as soon as possible with a complete package of
telecommunications services," said Glenn R. Jones, CEO of Jones
Intercable Inc., parent company of both Jones Communications and
Telecommunications. "Having access to video, telephone and
internet connection through the Jones broadband, fiber network will be
a dramatic step forward in realizing the vision Congress set forth in
the Telecommunications Act."
president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-Virginia, said he is
pleased that the two companies reached such a comprehensive agreement
so quickly. "In the 100 days or so since the signing of the
Telecommunications Act, we have spent many hours with Jones working
out the details of this agreement. I have nothing but praise for the
cooperative spirit of their team. Together, we crafted a good, sound
document that we can all take pride in."
The companies said they expect Virginia consumers to have choices for
their local telephone service starting this summer. The State
Corporation Commission has 90 days to approve the pact. Bell
Atlantic-Virginia expects to apply to the FCC for authority to provide
long distance service to its customers before the end of the year.
The agreement allows Jones to provide competitive local residential
and business telephone service over its state-of-the-art local
exchange network. "The network is in place in parts of our service
area already, and more is being activated every week. We'll be ready
to deliver immediately," said James B. O'Brien, president of Jones
The agreement provides a detailed blueprint for how the two
competitors will connect their networks and how they will compensate
each other for their services.
The agreement provides for:
- Reciprocal per minute charges for the completion of local
originated by the other company's customers.
- Customers to switch from one company to the other without having to
change telephone numbers.
- Jones to be able to lease segments of Bell Atlantic's network
- The availability of enhanced calling features over either company's
- 911 emergency operator and directory services.
Bell Atlantic-Virginia has approximately 2.5 million customers and
serves roughly two-thirds of the state's geography. Jones currently
provides cable television service to 300,000 customers in the greater
Washington metropolitan area, including the cities of Alexandria and
Reston, and, most of Prince William County in Virginia.
Jones Intercable Inc., (NASDAQ: JOIN and JOINA), parent company of
Jones Communications and Jones Telecommunications, is one of the
largest cable operators in the U.S., providing service to more than
1.4 million customers in 20 states.
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.
- Bell Atlantic: Paul Miller, 804-772-1460
Jones Communications: Jim Carlson, 303-784-8490