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BVS AND C&P WIN COURT CHALLENGE TO 1984 CABLE ACT

 ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers will have a whole new world of choice in television programming because of a decision today by the United States District Court in Alexandria. The court declared unconstitutional a provision of the 1984 Cable Act that until today had blocked Bell Atlantic from providing cable television in the same areas where it provides telephone service.
 "Bell Atlantic's customers will soon have a choice for their cable television programming," said Ray Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic. "Until now, cable customers have had to take what their cable companies wanted to give them. Now, Bell Atlantic will be able to provide our customers with a choice."
 Bell Atlantic Video Services, Inc. (BVS) and The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Virginia (C&P Telephone) filed suit on Dec. 17, 1992, challenging the constitutionality of the restriction in the 1984 Cable Act that bars telephone companies and their affiliates from providing video programming in their local telephone service areas. The suit named as defendants the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Attorney General, who are responsible for the 1984 Cable Act's enforcement.
 BVS is already a pioneer in the development of interactive multimedia television services (IMTV), and today's decision allows BVS also to provide to telephone company customers a greater variety of traditional cable television services. First-generation IMTV services will include video programming on demand that allows customers to watch what they want, when they want it.
 BVS and C&P, which are both Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) subsidiaries, plan to offer video entertainment and information services to approximately 60,000 customers in Alexandria, using the common carrier network that C&P Telephone intends to deploy in that city over the next couple of years.
 "This is a major victory for the residents of Alexandria," said Hugh Stallard, president of C&P of Virginia. "With BVS as a major customer for video transmission capability, C&P can accelerate the evolution of its telecommunications network in Alexandria, making it a state-of-the- art communications system."
 Bell Atlantic is the parent company of New Jersey Bell, Bell of Pennsylvania, Diamond State Telephone (Delaware) and The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Companies of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., companies that provide a full array of telecommunications services in the mid-Atlantic region.
 Bell Atlantic has an interest in SkyTel, which provides multichannel video services in New Zealand, and in CellularVision, which will deploy wireless cable services in New York. Bell Atlantic will operate the New York system under the direction of CellularVision.
 Bell Atlantic is also the parent of one of the nation's largest cellular carriers and of companies that provide software, systems integration, hardware and software service and support and financial services throughout the United States and internationally. In addition, Bell Atlantic International offers network services and consulting to telephone authorities throughout the world and owns an interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand.
 -0- 8/24/93
 /CONTACT: Larry Plumb of Bell Atlantic, 703-974-2814/
 (BEL)


CO: Bell Atlantic Video Services, Inc.; The Chesapeake and Potomac
 Telephone Company ST: Virginia IN: TLS SU: LEG EXE


IH-KD -- DC018 -- 5548 08/24/93 15:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 24, 1993
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