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MCI OPPOSES NEW JERSEY LEGISLATION TO DEREGULATE NEW JERSEY BELL AND AT&T

 MCI OPPOSES NEW JERSEY LEGISLATION TO DEREGULATE
 NEW JERSEY BELL AND AT&T
 TRENTON, N.J., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- "The New Jersey legislature should not grant the Board of Regulatory Control authority to deregulate New Jersey Bell and AT&T without clear and rigorous guidelines to ensure against monopoly abuse," Donna Sorgi, MCI's director of regulatory and government affairs, said today in commenting on draft legislation before the Senate Committee on Transportation and Public Utilities.
 The New Jersey Bell and AT&T deregulation legislation (S.3617) would authorize the Board of Regulatory Control (BRC) to actually deregulate New Jersey Bell and would completely deregulate AT&T, bypassing the BRC entirely.
 MCI urged the committee "not to rush judgment" by legislating in the area of telecommunications without an open, cooperative and inclusive process. "All interested parties should be asked to participate in developing a consensus on how to give New Jersey the telecommunications regulatory framework that its citizens and ratepayers deserve," Sorgi added.
 MCI stated that the draft legislation, if approved, would fail to provide adequate protection to consumers and the competitive process from the monopoly and near-monopoly powers of New Jersey Bell and AT&T.
 "Without adequate protection against cross subsidy, New Jersey Bell can use captive local exchange customers' and access customers' rates to subsidize its so-called 'competitive' services, resulting in higher rates to its monopoly customers and anticompetitive pricing that its dependent competitors cannot meet," explained Sorgi. MCI, New Jersey Bell's second largest customer, pays the company almost 50 cents to every revenue dollar for local access to complete MCI's customers' long- distance calls.
 MCI also opposes granting AT&T full deregulation in New Jersey as proposed in the draft legislation. Said Sorgi, "There is no reason why New Jersey should grant total deregulation to AT&T without even a process to determine whether deregulation is warranted or desirable. AT&T continues to have significant market power, with 65 percent of the total market, and dominance in such market segments as 800, operator services and calling cards.
 "How AT&T is regulated directly affects the continued viability of long-distance competition in New Jersey, competition that has contributed to the dramatic decline of rates since the divestiture, producing major savings for consumers and businesses," added Sorgi.
 -0- 12/10/91
 /CONTACT: Frank J. Walter of MCI Eastern Division, 914-933-6292/
 (MCIC) CO: MCI Corporation; New Jersey Bell; AT&T ST: New Jersey, New York IN: TLS SU:


CK-GK -- NY044 -- 1082 12/10/91 14:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 10, 1991
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