[ Text | Word97 ]

March 9, 2000

Dissent of
Commissioner Gloria Tristani

Re: Bell Atlantic New York Authorization Under Section 271 of the Communications Act to Provide In-Region, InterLATA Service in the State of New York.

I dissent from today's consent decree with Bell Atlantic. I believe the more appropriate response would have been to direct Bell Atlantic to show cause why the Commission should not suspend its authorization to provide long distance service to new customers in New York due to its apparent failure to provide nondiscriminatory, unbundled access to network elements.

Evidence from the Enforcement Bureau's investigation in February clearly suggests that Bell Atlantic's performance in providing order acknowledgements, confirmation and rejection notices, and order completion notices for UNE-Platform local services deteriorated following Bell Atlantic's entry into the long distance market. I believe the Commission should have placed the burden on Bell Atlantic at that time to demonstrate that it had not ceased to meet a fundamental requirement of its approval to provide long distance service in New York. In granting that approval, we explicitly stated that with respect to the types of notifications at issue here, if there was evidence of "a systemic problem occurring for a significant number of orders . . . it would warrant a finding of noncompliance." Such a finding would, in turn, justify suspension of Bell Atlantic's marketing authority.

Bell Atlantic's alleged failures have the potential to impede significantly the development of competition in New York. I urge Bell Atlantic to remedy these problems, and I expect that today's consent decree will ensure improved performance on a going-forward basis.