GTE Response to DOJ Filing

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In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said it opposed GTE's and SNET's motions at the FCC to halt implementation of the FCC's Interconnection Order.

The following statement regarding the DOJ's comments can be attributed to William P. Barr, GTE senior vice president and general counsel:

"The DOJ filing comes as no surprise.

"It is disappointing that the Department of Justice, an agency charged by law with fostering free and open competition, should align itself with such a one-sided and anti-competitive order as the FCC's.

"In our view, the current structure of the FCC Interconnection Order will not create a level playing field for local telephone competition.

"Under the Order, local phone companies that have built and operated the local network would be required to wholesale both their services and parts of their network to resellers at prices substantially below actual cost.

"In practical terms, the order requires local phone companies to subsidize resellers, among them some extremely large corporations. That does not amount to fair competition, nor will it yield the positive benefits for consumers Congress had in mind in enacting the law in the first place.

"The FCC's Order also overrides the role Congress explicitly gave the marketplace and the states in implementing the Telecommunications Act.

"The DOJ's claim that the GTE/SNET motion disrupts the 'cooperation and coordination among the Commission and state authorities,' is somewhat curious in light of the fact that the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and several states have filed their own petitions for review opposing the FCC order."

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