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MFS BLASTS TELCO HYPOCRISY RBOC EFFORTS TO OBTAIN STAY OF FCC ORDER WILL INCREASE SUPPORT FOR BROOKS BILL

MFS BLASTS TELCO HYPOCRISY RBOC EFFORTS TO OBTAIN STAY OF FCC ORDER WILL
 INCREASE SUPPORT FOR BROOKS BILL
 OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., Nov. 11 -- MFS Communications Company, Inc. (MFS), issued a statement today strongly denouncing attempts by several Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) and large independent telephone companies to obtain a stay and thereby frustrate implementation of the local access interconnection order issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC decision was issued at its Sept. 17, 1992, meeting in response to MFS' Local Equal Access Initiative filed in November 1989 and was widely hailed by the Commission and others as an historic step in fostering local telecommunications competition.
 MFS' comments today were in response to a joint petition filed by Bell Atlantic, Bell South, Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, Cincinnati Bell, GTE, Lincoln Telephone, Southern New England Telephone and United Telephone on Nov. 10, 1992, with the FCC requesting a stay of the collocation order. Notably absent from the petitioning Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) were Ameritech, NYNEX, US West, Centel and Rochester Telephone -- several of whom are actually providing interconnection to MFS and others on an intrastate basis. The petitioning parties have also notified the FCC that they will seek similar delaying action in court if the request is denied by the FCC.
 MFS characterized this effort to thwart interconnection before it could even be implemented as deeply disturbing and revealing of the LECs' true attitudes toward local competition. These pleadings are in stark contrast to earlier statements by the petitioning LECs indicating their general support for increased competition and disavowing efforts to undermine such competitive initiatives.
 "Recent RBOC blandishments and word fog supporting competition have been designed to delay action on the Brooks Bill," noted Royce J. Holland, president of MFS. "The RBOC chameleon has now shown its true colors -- an event that will not go unnoticed in Congress."
 According to MFS, this anti-competitive and dilatory action is diametrically contrary to request by the same RBOCs abroad and outside their regional serving territories for greater competitive opportunities and for elimination of competitive barriers to entry. "In this year of the Olympics, the petitioning RBOCs have just earned the gold medal for hypocrisy," stated Holland. He noted the RBOC competitive ventures in the United Kingdom and Australia have argued in favor of competitive opportunities similar to those they seek to deny to MFS and other U.S. competitors. As such, the filing of the stay petition by these same parties inescapably bring to mind John Bunyan's classic example of hypocrisy in "Pilgrim's Progress" -- "a saint abroad, and a devil at home."
 "Such anti-competitive action by the petitioning RBOCs is proof positive that for several RBOCs rhetoric and actions regarding competition are as far apart as is the United States and Australia in mileage," said Holland. "This blatant example of anti-competitive behavior will undoubtedly increase support for passage of the Brooks Bill when Congress reconvenes." Holland also noted that the decision by some LECs to disassociate themselves from this enterprise should be appropriately recognized and commended.
 Holland expressed confidence that the request for a stay by the RBOCs is without legal merit and will be denied by the FCC. He also indicated that MFS will seek to prevent the LECs from recovering legal expenses associated with the action from their ratepayers. "Let LEC shareholders fund this frivolous and anticompetitive action," said Holland. "It's time for the ratepayers to quit financing this nonsense."
 MFS Communications Company, Inc., is a leading provider of solutions for business communications. The company offers business and government customers reliable, high-quality voice, data and video systems and services nationwide. Metropolitan areas served by MFS networks include: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. MFS subsidiaries include MFS Telecom, Inc., the nation's largest Competitive Access Provider; MFS Network Technologies, Inc., a major communication system integrator and facility manager; and MFS Datanet, Inc., which develops and markets advanced data communications services.
 -0- 11/11/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Ingish of MFS Communications, 708-218-7318/ CO: MFS Communications Company, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: TLS SU:


LD -- NY082 -- 9880 11/11/92 16:45 EST
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Date:Nov 11, 1992
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