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NEW STUDY REPORTS SIGNIFICANT JOB GAINS FOR ALABAMA; BELL COMPETITION IN NEW BUSINESSES BRINGS ECONOMIC GROWTH, JOBS

 WASHINGTON, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Alabama would gain more than 58,000 new jobs over the next decade if telecommunications law and regulation were changed to allow free and open competition, according to a study released today.
 The study concluded that a total of 3.6 million jobs would be created throughout the United States over the next 10 years if the Bell companies were permitted to compete in long distance telephone service, telecommunications equipment manufacturing design and development, and video programming -- and retained their freedom to offer information services. These new jobs would be across the country and in every industry. In addition, lifting the current restrictions on Bell company competition would bring dramatic reductions in rates for telecommunications and cable TV services, which also would have a ripple effect throughout the economy.
 The study, which was conducted by the prestigious WEFA Group, utilized sophisticated econometric models to forecast the economic impact of Bell company entry into these currently restricted lines of business on the national and state economies.
 According to the study, lifting the Bell company restrictions would generate 58,114 new jobs in Alabama alone by the year 2003, 2.8 percent more jobs than the state could otherwise expect by that time from normal economic growth. Well more than half of those jobs -- 36,885 -- would be created in the first five years after the restrictions were lifted, while more than a third of the total jobs created -- 22,144 -- would be in the manufacturing sector.
 "This study confirms what South Central Bell has been confident of for some time -- that open competition in the telecommunications marketplace would allow us to offer innovative services and to contribute significantly to economic growth and job creation for the people of Alabama," said Neal Travis, Alabama president for South Central Bell.
 In addition to creating 3.6 million new jobs, the study predicts that the ripple effect of Bell competition would include:
 -- An additional $247 billion increase in the gross domestic
 product;
 -- Improvement in America's balance of trade of $33 billion;
 -- Federal deficit reductions of $150 billion; and
 -- An increase in consumer spending of $137 billion by the year
 2003.
 All of these results are based on comparisons with WEFA's Baseline forecast, which projects the development of all aspects of the American economy through 2003, but assumes no line-of-business relief.
 WEFA further predicts that consumers would save almost $630 billion by 2003, which averages $63 billion each year, as a result of lower telecommunications and cable TV rates. The rate declines include: long- distance and local toll call rate decreases of 50 percent as compared to the Baseline forecast, saving consumers over $490 billion by 2003; local rate increases of less than one-half the amount of the Baseline forecast, saving more than $30 billion over the 10-year period; and, cellular rate decreases of 15 percent (including toll charges) over five years, saving more than $25 billion by 2003. Average cable TV prices decrease almost 5 percent when local telephone company entry is granted, vs. an increase of 27 percent in WEFA's Baseline forecast, saving consumers nearly $75 billion.
 The regional Bell companies were excluded from participating in long-distance services, telecommunications equipment manufacturing and information services as part of the court-supervised breakup of AT&T in 1984. The 1984 Cable Act prohibited Bell companies from providing video services to customers in their regions. In 1991, the information services restriction was lifted by a federal court.
 -0- 7/21/93
 /CONTACT: Bill McCloskey of BellSouth, 202-463-4129/


CO: South Central Bell ST: Alabama IN: TLS SU: ECO

DC-MH -- DC015 -- 4023 07/21/93 14:00 EDT
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Date:Jul 21, 1993
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