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AMERITECH CALLS FOR POLICY CHANGES TO REAP INFORMATION AGE BENEFITS

 WASHINGTON, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Opening all segments of telecommunications to customer choice is essential if consumers and the nation are to reap the full benefits of an advanced telecommunications infrastructure, an Ameritech executive today told a U.S. House of Representatives panel.
 "The full benefit of technological change is hampered by antiquated rules," said Ameritech Vice Chairman Richard H. Brown, in testimony before the Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Brown proposed balanced changes so that if local telephone companies open their networks, they're allowed to enter related businesses, like providing cable and long-distance services.
 "We are calling for a policy shift that reflects the reality of the marketplace, that fully meets the consumer's need for information, and that makes it possible for everyone to realize the full benefits of ever-advancing technology," he said.
 Ameritech is seeking both changes in the way government regulates the industry and changes in the way companies compete. Such changes would "help meet some of America's most basic needs," which Brown defined as more jobs, improved education and better health care.
 Recently, Ameritech announced a blueprint for change in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission. The company proposed opening its five-state local telephone network to full competition in return for certain pricing and earnings reforms and the opportunity to provide long-distance service.
 "Our plan will give consumers the freedom to select the services they want from the vendors they prefer," he explained. "It will make the transmission of all information -- voice, image and data -- as physically and financially accessible as telephone service is today."
 Following are other key points Brown made in outlining how the U.S. would benefit from an advanced information infrastructure:
 -- Competition benefits consumers, the industry and the nation. Competition leads to innovation, lower prices, and economic growth, including job creation.
 -- To compete globally, American business must be able to better use advancing technology.
 -- The current regulatory framework doesn't work. It limits consumer choice and the public telephone network and impairs the U.S. economy.
 Brown called for a telecommunications infrastructure that contributes to the nation's ability to compete. "What we are talking about here is opportunity -- the opportunity to provide consumers with the information they need and the opportunity for American companies to compete on a worldwide basis."
 Ameritech is a leader in providing full-service communications and advanced information services to about 12 million customers in the Midwest. It also has operations in New Zealand, Poland and other international areas. Its 1992 revenues were $11.2 billion.
 -0- 3/24/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Brand, 202-955-9381, or Peter Lincoln, 202-955-3058, or Steve Ford, 312-750-5205, all of Ameritech/
 (AIT)


CO: Ameritech ST: Illinois IN: TLS SU:

CK -- NY022 -- 9034 03/24/93 10:45 EST
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Date:Mar 24, 1993
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