Click here for Microsoft Word Version

This document was converted from
WordPerfect or Word to ASCII Text format.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Word or WordPerfect version or Adobe Acrobat version (above).


                    Separate Statement of 
                   Commissioner Susan Ness

Re:  AT&T Corp., v. New York Telephone Company, d/b/a Bell 
     Atlantic -New York
     Although I support today's decision based on our rules, 
I am troubled by Verizon's marketing practices in New York.  
When a customer calls a local carrier to establish service 
on the primary line, the carrier must tell the customer that 
he or she has a choice of long-distance providers.  Yet, 
when many customers call Verizon to order additional lines, 
it does not inform those consumers of their right to use a 
long-distance carrier other than Verizon.

     In passing the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress 
sought to promote competition in all telecommunications 
markets.  Consumers will only reap the benefits of 
competition if they have the information to choose the 
provider that best meets their needs.  

     The contours of the equal access and nondiscrimination 
requirements in section 251(g) were set at a time when Bell 
companies, such as Verizon, were the monopoly provider of 
local services and were prohibited from offering long-
distance services.  This complaint demonstrates the need to 
revisit those rules in light of changes in the marketplace.  
As companies enter markets from which they were previously 
barred, we should consider the equal access and 
nondiscrimination obligations that make sense in this new 
competitive era.  I urge the Commission to undertake such a