January 30, 1996size = +1>
BELL ATLANTIC PAVING THE FUTURE WITH FIBER
Modern Telecommunications Regulation Benefits
Dover, DE -- Delaware has already seen tremendous benefits from
Telecommunications Technology Investment Act (TTIA), regulatory reform
legislation enacted in 1993. But the state's regulatory policies must
keep pace with the next great wave of change, federal
telecommunications reform, if Delaware is to realize the full
potential of telecommunications technology to improve its economy and
enhance the quality of life of its citizens.
That's the message Carolyn S. Burger, president and CEO of Bell
Atlantic-Delaware, delivered to the Delaware Public Service
Commission in her annual "State of the Company" presentation.
told the commission that Bell Atlantic has met or exceeded every
requirement of the TTIA, which called for the company to invest a
minimum of $250 million over five years to build a digital, fiber
optic telecommunications network in Delaware.
"To date, we are substantially ahead of schedule in meeting our
commitments. After two years under TTIA, Bell Atlantic has invested
$128 million in Delaware's telecommunications network - 28 percent
more than we anticipated spending at this stage," Burger said.
Burger said the TTIA has produced benefits in every sector of
Delaware's economy. "Digital switching and fiber optic technology
help attract new businesses and retain such communications-intensive
industries as banking, insurance and biotechnology. These businesses
can also become more profitable by using the telecommunications
network to move information faster and more reliably," she said.
In addition, Bell Atlantic's investment in new technology improves
service to all Delaware customers, Burger said. Delaware's modernized
telephone network can link almost every home and institution in a
single web of computer and telecommunications users. Customers can
send e-mail and download data more quickly, state government agencies
across Delaware are already connected with high-speed data links, and
Bell Atlantic is now delivering advanced services such as distance
learning, telecommuting and telemedicine with new technology installed
Burger told the PSC that "the next wave of telecommunications change
is about to crash over Delaware, prompted by the expected enactment of
Federal telecommunications legislation." This legislation will
accelerate competition in local telephone service and open markets
such as long distance that are now closed to Bell Atlantic.
To benefit from the increasing choices and opportunities resulting
from enactment of the new telecommunications legislation, Delaware's
regulators "must hold all competitors to the same rules" and
flexibility and a "constructive relationship between regulators and
telecommunications providers," Burger said. "I am confident
commission shares our commitment to accomplish these goals," she
"Our goal in Delaware should be maximum competition within an
framework," Burger said. "The PSC, using the regulatory
created by the Governor's office and the General Assembly, can lead
Delaware through this transition - maintaining necessary oversight
while allowing free market forces to operate with minimal restraint."
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.
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