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Long Distance Entry

The Market is Open…Consumers Benefit…It's Time

California is the largest and most competitive communications market in the nation. Pacific Bell has worked with the California Public Utilities Commission over the past several years to open the local telephone market to competition and bring consumers savings and choice.

California consumers will benefit immediately from Pacific Bell's long distance entry: prices will fall, choices will increase, services will improve, and companies will provide one-stop shopping. All companies will step up services and cut prices in the face of competition.

Today, more than 250 telecommunications companies have been approved to provide service in the state. These companies provide service to more than 2.3 million access lines across the state. Pacific Bell, working with the PUC and competitors in collaborative workshops, has implemented system upgrades and modifications, reduced the price for leasing Pacific Bell's network, and ensured orders from competitors are processed quickly and efficiently.

Growth of California's Telecom Industry

3/1998
4/2000
Companies approved to provide service
132
250+
Interconnection agreements with competitors
29
114
Competitors passing orders
26
111
Total orders processed (since 2/6/96)
560,263
3.3 million
Collocation Cages
219
3,299
Numbers ported to competitors
19,339
438,833
Total lines served by competitors
577,937
2.3 million

Pacific Bell is completing independent, third-party testing of its systems - the final stage of its long distance application. The fact is that California's market is more competitive and open than New York's, where Bell Atlantic was authorized to offer long distance service by the Federal Communications Commission. Pacific Bell's network, pricing, and systems meet or surpass those of Bell Atlantic.

There is only one sector of the state's $59.8 billion communications market that is not open to all competitors: long distance. Pacific Bell wants to offer consumers the entire range of services they want and need in one bundled, convenient package. Entry into the $14.7 billion long distance market will bring needed competition and savings for California consumers.

 

Consumers Benefit

Consumers today want "one stop shopping" for their communications needs. By providing long distance service, Pacific Bell will be able to respond to consumer demand and package telecom services in a single bill, offering consumers discounts and price breaks for all the services they want. Pacific Bell will be able to offer business and residential customers local and long distance phone service, Internet and data services and wireless communications.

Unlike the three largest long distance companies that control 80% of California's market, Pacific Bell will offer simple, easy to use and understand long distance plans that do not have "monthly minimum fees" that range from $4 to $8. Pacific Bell's entry into the long distance market will also have a profound impact on the choices and prices consumers pay for local phone services. The long distance providers will be forced to lower prices and begin to offer residential customers local telephone service if they are to compete head to head with Pacific Bell - that is just what happened in New York.

According to USA Today, AT&T; is "offering local phone service to customers in New York state, the company's first broad push back to the residential consumer market...AT&T;'s move comes on the heels of similar offerings from Sprint and MCI/Worldcom, which provide some local service in New York."

 

It's Time

More than two years ago, Pacific Bell filed its long distance application with the PUC. After a collaborative effort, the marketplace is open and Pacific Bell meets or surpasses the 14-point checklist used by the FCC to evaluate applications. Pacific Bell has opened its network - now it's time for California consumers to enjoy the benefits of increased competition.

The Consumers Union reported Bell Atlantic is offering New York Consumers real cost savings, including those who do not make a lot of long distance calls. The Consumers Union further asks, "When will the telecommunications companies and regulators offer consumers nationwide the same benefits of lower prices for local phone and long distance services that New Yorkers receive?"

 

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