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May 7, 1996


Company Says There's More Than Meets the Eye
Pending D.C.
Telecommunication Bill

On May 7, the District of Columbia City Council will consider
legislation to introduce local telecommunications competition. This
morning, an organization called the "Telephone Coalition"
hosted a
briefing session to advance their views regarding the legislation. In
response to that session, William M. Freeman, president
and CEO of
Bell Atlantic - Washington, made the following statement:

Bell Atlantic supports an amended bill that will provide fair
telecommunications competition in the District of Columbia, but the
current legislation is nothing more than a Trojan horse that will
offer little protection to consumers. The current version of Bill
11-258 is not materially different from the bill that was introduced
amid public controversy and concern last May.

Consumers and city legislators should be wary anytime a group of so
called "competitors" like AT&T, MCI and Sprint form a
coalition to
advance a collective agenda. These companies are in collusion to keep
Bell Atlantic from being competitive, limit the role of the D.C. Public
Service Commission, obtain an unprecedented financial windfall from the
D.C. City Council and transfer the cozy oligopoly that exists in the
long-distance arena to the local D.C. telecommunications marketplace.

The current draft of the D.C. telecommunications competition bill
gives our competitors free reign to set prices and determine how and
where service will be provided without regulatory oversight. On the
other hand, the lopsided bill places Bell Atlantic in regulatory

The "Telephone Coalition" argues its members must be protected
Bell Atlantic's "market power." AT&T is far larger than
Bell Atlantic
with a well known national and international brand identity. They
need no protection. Our competitors are major players that already
provide long-distance and other telecommunication services in the D.C.
telecommunications market.

The earliest final vote on this bill will be scheduled for June 4, not
May 7. We are confident that the full D.C. City Council will use its
collective wisdom to amend the bill so that it treats all competitors
fairly as the recently enacted federal telecommunications law
intended. Only then will consumers receive the full benefits of truly
competitive environment.


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