Public Service Commission Ruling on Phone Rates to Hurt Marylanders

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Public Service Commission Ruling on
Phone Rates to Hurt Marylanders

July 2, 1998

Media contact:

Sandra Arnette,
410-393-7109


BACKGROUND: The Maryland Public Service Commission today
issued an order setting the rates that competing phone companies
must pay Bell Atlantic to use portions of its network to provide local
service. The following statement may be attributed to Sherry F.
Bellamy
, president and CEO, Bell Atlantic - Maryland.

"Today's action by the Maryland Public Service Commission will hurt the
consumers and businesses of this state and is a setback for economic
development in Maryland. This decision says loud and clear that Maryland
is not a good place to do business.

"The commission set the rates competitors pay to use our
telecommunications network substantially below our actual costs. This
action will leave Bell Atlantic with little incentive to continue to invest in
Maryland. The commission also destroyed any incentive for other
companies to invest and build their own networks because they can use
ours for less than cost.

"Bell Atlantic consistently has been one of the best corporate citizens in
Maryland. We have invested over $1 million a day in our Maryland
network, and we have helped attract hundreds of new jobs to the state. We
now must evaluate our options to correct today's decision so that
Maryland consumers and businesses will benefit, and not suffer, from
competition."

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