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Court Grants Bell Atlantic Right To Reargue Delaware ISDN Rates
Judge Says Company Was Denied Due Process
April 8, 1997
DOVER,Del. -- The state Public Service Commission (PSC)
give Bell Atlantic-Delaware an opportunity to present its case on ISDN
(Integrated Services Digital Network) rates for consumers, a Delaware
judge has ruled.
Kent County Superior Court Judge N. Maxson Terry issued the ruling
April 4 in response to Bell Atlantic-Delaware's appeal of the
commission's July, 1996 decision on ISDN rates. In the appeal, the
company contended it wasn't allowed to make its case before the
commission reached its decision. ISDN technology provides high speed
access to cyberspace. It transmits voice, data and video five to nine
times faster than conventional analog modems.
Bell Atlantic-Delaware currently provides ISDN for home use at rates
the company proposed in April, 1996. Judge Terry allowed the company
to offer these rates, starting at $31 per month for 20 hours of ISDN,
pending the company's appeal.
"It was always our intention to make ISDN to the home as affordable
and accessible as possible while covering the cost of providing the
Joshua W. Martin, III, president and CEO of Bell
Atlantic-Delaware. "We are gratified by the court ruling and look
forward to presenting our case on ISDN rates and resolving this issue
with the Commission as quickly as possible."
In ruling that Bell Atlantic-Delaware was denied due process of law in
the ISDN rate case, Judge Terry said consumers and the company could
be harmed unless Bell Atlantic-Delaware was given an opportunity to
make its case.
"In balancing the interests at stake in this matter," Judge
wrote, "it is obvious that if the rate is so low that Bell
Atlantic-Delaware will lose money by providing (residential) ISDN, its
interests are seriously impaired. But such a result also works to the
detriment of other parties, the consumers. If the rate is so low that
Bell Atlantic-Delaware loses money, what incentive does it have to
promote and market (residential) ISDN or to invest money to improve
the service? The only way to feel confident that a just and
reasonable rate is set is to afford Bell Atlantic-Delaware the
opportunity to put on all of the evidence that is relevant to the
Bell Atlantic Corp. (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 Corp. of New Zealand and is actively developing high-growth
national and international business opportunities in all phases of the