WASHINGTON -- After ten hours of intense debate, the United States House of Representatives today passed by a vote of 305 to 117 comprehensive, pro-competitive telecommunications legislation that would significantly alter the communications industry. The legislation, passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support, will allow local telephone, long distance telephone and cable-television companies to compete in each others markets, giving consumers greater choices for their service providers.
The Senate passed its version of telecommunications reform legislation on June 15, 1995 by a vote of 81-18.
"The House action is good for our customers. It's good for NYNEX. And it's good for the nation's economy. This bill puts consumers in charge," said NYNEX Chairman Ivan Seidenberg. "When this major reform of our nation's communications policy is finalized, NYNEX will be ready. We'll be ready to better serve our customers by offering them more services at better prices. We'll be ready to enter the long distance market by finally giving consumers real price competition in that market. And we'll be ready to compete with cable companies and give our customers a choice in video entertainment providers."
"A fully competitive telecommunications marketplace will stimulate investment, produce innovative technologies, improve service, drive down prices and create millions of new jobs," Seidenberg added.
The bill opens the local telephone and cable markets, allowing consumers to pick the provider of their choice. Local telephone companies, like NYNEX, will also be able to provide long distance service as soon as the local telephone market is open to competition. Competition in local telephone, cable television and long distance communications will result in lower prices and better quality for both residential and business customers.
The legislation also streamlines regulations to permit NYNEX to offer video programming to its customers in the Northeast via wireless cable or a video network. Competition in the communications market will also have an enormous impact on the economy of the Northeast. In New York and New England, 187,100 new jobs across all industry sectors will be created as a result of full and immediate competition in the communications industry.
The House and Senate bills will now be merged into one bill. It is expected that both Houses of Congress will vote on that legislation sometime in September, after which it will go to the President to be signed into law.
NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides a full range of services in the northeastern United States and high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications, cable television, directory publishing and entertainment and information services.