FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
October 6, 2000
NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:|
Rosemary Kimball (202) 418-0500.
John Winston (202) 418-7450
Washington, D.C. - Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) denied a complaint brought by AT&T Corp. alleging that New York Telephone Company, d/b/a Bell Atlantic - New York (Bell Atlantic) improperly markets the services of its long distance affiliate by failing to inform inbound callers of their full range of long distance choices, and by using its knowledge of the identity of those callers' existing long distance carrier. AT&T's complaint was the first formal complaint brought against Bell Atlantic at the FCC relating to the company's long distance offerings in the State of New York. Bell Atlantic began offering long distance service to New York customers in January 2000 after obtaining FCC authorization to offer such service in December 1999.
AT&T's complaint challenged the manner in which Bell Atlantic promotes the services of its long distance affiliate, Bell Atlantic Communications, Inc. (BACI), when existing Bell Atlantic customers call the local phone company to request an additional telephone line. AT&T argued that in those situations, Bell Atlantic must first inform the customer that he or she has a choice of long distance carriers and then must offer to read the customer a list of long distance carriers, before promoting BACI's long distance service. AT&T also argued that Bell Atlantic may not use its knowledge of the identity of the customer's existing long distance carrier when it promotes BACI's service.
Although the Commission rejected AT&T's claims, it stated that Bell Atlantic is required to inform inbound callers of their long distance choices if the caller has not previously received service from Bell Atlantic or has moved to a different address within the State. Accordingly, the Commission's ruling is limited to the specific facts set forth in AT&T's complaint, which relate only to existing Bell Atlantic customers making inbound calls who were not requesting first-time local service at their address.
Action by the Commission October 5, 2000, by Memorandum Opinion and Order (FCC 00-362) . Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Furchtgott-Roth, Ness, Powell, and Tristiani; Chairman Kennard and Commissioner Ness issuing separate statements.
Enforcement Bureau contact: John Winston at (202) 418-7450. Market Disputes Resolution Division contact: Lia Royle at (202) 418-7391.