WASHINGTON, DC -- After seven days of grueling debate, the United States Senate today passed by a vote of 81 to 18 Sweeping Telecommunications Legislation that would significantly alter the competitive landscape of the communications industry. The legislation will allow local telephone, long distance telephone and cable-television companies to compete in each others markets, providing consumers with greater choices for their service providers.
Todays Senate action is a great leap toward bringing true competition to all facets of the communications industry. Although we have several more hurdles to overcome before consumers can reap the benefits of the Senates action, the odds that telecommunications reform legislation will pass this Congress are now very good, said Tom Tauke, executive vice president, NYNEX Government Affairs.
Under the provisions of the bill, NYNEX will be able to offer long distance wireless services and long distance wireline service outside its region immediately upon the bills enactment. Once the company has demonstrated to the FCC that it has opened its local markets to competition, it would also be able to offer long-distance service to wireline customers in the NYNEX region.
The legislation also establishes a workable regulatory framework for video services which will permit NYNEX to offer video programming to its customers in the Northeast. Furthermore, the legislation removes several regulatory barriers, which will speed the construction of a video network that will be used to offer these advanced video services.
The legislation devises a new method of paying for universal service, which assures that residential telephone rates will remain affordable and that the benefits of the Information Age will continue to be available to all Americans.
The Senate bill outlines a good policy framework for the communications industry that significantly improves the status quo and moves us into the next century. I wish to congratulate the managers of the bill, Senators Pressler and Hollings, and the Senate Leadership, Senators Dole and Lott, for developing strong support for this important communications policy that will benefit consumers and enhance the nations economy, noted Tauke.
The House of Representatives is likely to consider its version of telecommunications legislation in July.
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.