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BELL ATLANTIC REQUESTS WAIVER OF CONSENT DECREE RESTRICTIONS TO PROVIDE VIDEO SERVICES

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Bell Atlantic issued the following:
 Bell Atlantic is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to support its effort to remove the AT&T Consent Decree's long distance prohibition as it applies to Bell Atlantic's delivery of video programming. The filing will be made on Friday, Feb. 26.
 If and when the federal District Court grants the company's waiver request, Bell Atlantic will be permitted to provide video programming services to customers without regard to local access transport area (LATA)(A) boundaries.
 Relief from the AT&T Consent Decree's long distance, or interLATA, restriction is needed as soon as possible in order for Bell Atlantic to deploy video services in the most cost-effective manner. Bell Atlantic plans to use multimillion dollar digital servers for storing and forwarding video programming, and it will be most effective if this expensive equipment can be used to serve all or its customers, rather than only those in major metropolitan areas. As a practical matter, in the absence of interLATA relief service, deployment will be limited to major urban areas.
 "None of the ways in which programming is delivered today depend on the so-called telephone company bottleneck' (that is, the telephone wires that connect homes and businesses to telephone company switches)," said Art Bushkin, president of information services for Bell Atlantic. "Bell Atlantic has zero share in the video delivery arena and seeks to enter the market in competition with the established delivery channels. Video programming currently is delivered to consumers in many ways, including television station broadcast, cable television systems, direct broadcast satellite transmissions and videocassettes."
 Bell Atlantic has signaled its determination to be in the video delivery business by announcing a series of initiatives over the last few months. The company's New Jersey Bell unit plans to deploy the first video dial tone services in the country in Dover Township and Morris County, N.J., beginning this summer. Bell Atlantic also plans to test a video on demand service in Northern Virginia this summer and has proposed to provide video programming to customers inAlexandria, Va., pe nding the outcome of its lawsuit with the U.S. government challenging the constitutionality of the 1984 Cable Act.
 Bell Atlantic is the parent of Bell Atlantic Video Services Company. Bell Atlantic is also the parent company of New Jersey Bell, Bell of Pennsylvania, Diamond State Telephone (serving Delaware) and the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Companies serving Maryland, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
 In addition, Bell Atlantic is the parent of one of the nation's largest providers of mobile communications and of companies that provide business system solutions and financial services throughout the United States and around the world. Bell Atlantic International, in conjunction with Ameritech, owns a majority interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand.
 (A) Local Access Transport Area, or LATA, is roughly equivalent to a Standard Statistical Metropolitan Area and defines the territory within which a regional Bell company can carry calls. LATAs were created as a result of the AT&T Consent Decree.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/25/93 R
 /CONTACT: Larry Plumb, 703-974-2814, or Melissa Andrews, 703-974-1479, both of Bell Atlantic/
 (BEL T)


CO: Bell Atlantic; AT&T ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:

MH -- DC017R -- 0476 02/25/93 14:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 25, 1993
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