FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
August 1, 2000
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:|
John Winston (202) 418-7450
Washington, D.C.--Today the Federal Communications Commission announced that GTE Service Corporation (``GTE'') will make a voluntary payment of $2.7 million to the United States Treasury in connection with an investigation of whether GTE violated the FCC's requirement to provide ``cageless'' collocation of its competitors' equipment. GTE admitted that it had denied 51 requests for cageless collocation after the June 1, 1999 effective date of the Commission's rules. GTE argued, however, that it was not required to come into compliance with the Commission's rules by that date.
As part of a consent decree with the FCC, GTE has also agreed to expedite improvements in its treatment of local competitors.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 required incumbent local exchange carriers (``LECs'') such as GTE to allow competitors to place, or collocate, their own equipment in the incumbent LECs' premises. During the initial implementation of the 1996 Act, the incumbent LECs often required the competing LEC to build a security cage around the collocated equipment. In order to promote local competition and accelerate the collocation process, the Commission, in its March 1999 Advanced Services Order, required incumbent LECs to offer an alternative form of collocation without a security cage around the competing LEC's equipment. The Commission indicated that this alternative arrangement, called cageless collocation, would eliminate the time and expense associated with building a cage.
After receiving information from competing LECs indicating that GTE may have violated the Commission's rules, the Enforcement Bureau initiated an investigation by sending GTE a letter of inquiry on February 25, 2000. Under the terms of the Consent Decree announced today, GTE (which has merged with Bell Atlantic and is now a subsidiary of Verizon Communications) will make a voluntary contribution to the United States Treasury of $2.7 million. GTE has also agreed to be subject to automatic penalties if it fails to comply with certain collocation performance measurements within six months, rather than nine months as previously required by the Commission's order approving the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic.
This is the second major recent Commission enforcement action regarding the local competition provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In March of this year in a separate action, the Commission entered into a Consent Decree with Bell Atlantic-New York in connection with Bell Atlantic's loss or mishandling of orders electronically submitted to Bell Atlantic by its local service competitors in New York. In that Consent Decree, Bell Atlantic agreed to make a voluntary contribution to the United States Treasury of $3 million and agreed to certain local competition performance measurements.
Action by the Commission: July 31, 2000, by Order (FCC 00-281). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani.
|Enforcement Bureau Contacts:||
John Winston (202) 418-7450
Suzanne Tetreault (202) 418-7450
Trent Harkrader (202) 418-2955