New York - AT&T wants Bell Atlantic's long dist. service suspended (NY), cites broken systems : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

(Non-Y2k until more is learned about the "broken systems")

March 7, 2000

AT&T seeks to suspend Bell Atlantic long distance

NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - Long-distance telephone leader AT&T Corp. said on Tuesday it will ask regulators to suspend Bell Atlantic Corp.'s authority to provide long-distance service in New York state due to the Baby Bell's alleged inability to fix broken systems that serve competitors.

Bell Atlantic did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Bell Atlantic BEL.N in December became the first Baby Bell company created by the 1984 break-up of AT&T T.N to win approval to provide long-distance in its home market.

Under the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the Baby Bells must open their local telephone markets to competition and meet 14 different standards before winning permission to sell long-distance service to its local customers.

"Bell Atlantic has not even come close to meeting performance levels required by the Telecom Act," AT&T Chairman C. Michael Armstrong said in a prepared statement.

AT&T contended that Bell Atlantic has lost tens of thousands of orders from customers who had chosen AT&T or other carriers offering local phone service in New York.

AT&T said it first will send a letter to Bell Atlantic asking the company to voluntarily stop marketing long distance while it fixes its systems. If that request is turned down, AT&T will make a filing with the FCC.

Shares of Bell Atlantic traded at 56-3/8, down 5/8, while AT&T traded at 53-1/16, down 7/16. Both trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Sources: Reuters, Canada Biz Ticker

-- Lee Maloney (, March 07, 2000

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