Long Distance Ruling Applies to Bell Atlantic
Judge's Decision Allows Company to Provide Long Distance Service
January 7, 1998
NEW YORK - A federal judge today granted Bell Atlantic's request to
participate in a landmark court case that will allow the company to
offer long distance and other services.
U.S. District Judge Joe Kendall, of Wichita Falls, Texas, accepted
Bell Atlantic's motion, filed by the company on Dec. 30 to intervene
in the case. Under the judge's ruling, Bell Atlantic-- along with SBC
and US West--can offer bundled local, long distance, and other
services without lengthy delays.
On Dec. 31, Kendall struck down several key provisions of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996 as unconstitutional, noting that they
restrict the regional Bell companies' right to compete in long distance
by unfairly delaying their entry.
However, the judge preserved all provisions of the Act requiring that
Bell companies continue to open their local markets to competitors.
"We're pleased with the judge's decision to accept our motion," said
James G. Cullen, president and CEO, Bell Atlantic's Telecom Group.
"Our aggressive plans to keep opening local markets are unchanged."
Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications, information and
entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and 5.8
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of
directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the
world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets,
with operations and investments in 21 countries.