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PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION SCHEDULES HEARINGS ON BELL OF PA.'S PROPOSAL FOR AN ALTERNATIVE FORM OF REGULATION

 HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Public Utility Commission has scheduled hearings in 10 communities to receive public comment on the proposal of Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania for an alternative form of regulation.
 Bell has asked the commission to approve a "price stability mechanism," the deregulation of six services and a plan for modernization of its network by the year 2015.
 Chief Administrative Law Judge Allison K. Turner will hold the public input hearings at:
 -- State College on Monday, Nov. 8, at 2 and 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Mt. Nittany United Methodist Church, 1500 E. Branch Road.
 -- Lancaster on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 2 and 7 p.m. in council chambers of City Hall, 100 S. Duke St.
 -- Dupont (Luzerne County) on Friday, Nov. 12, at 2 and 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Pittston Area Ben Franklin Kindergarten Center, on Walnut Street.
 -- Harrisburg on Monday, Nov. 22, at 2 and 7 p.m. in the commissioners hearing room of the Swatara Township Municipal Building, 599 Eisenhower Blvd.
 -- Uniontown on Monday, Nov. 29, at 2 and 7 p.m. in the third floor conference room of the Fayette County Courthouse, 61 E. Main St.
 -- Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 2 and 7 p.m. in the Gold Room of the Allegheny County Courthouse, 436 Grant St.
 -- Clarion on Friday, Dec. 3, at 2 and 7 p.m. in the meeting room of Clarion County Children and Youth Services, 500 Main St.
 -- Greensburg on Friday, Dec. 10, at 2 and 7 p.m. in commissioners public meeting room 3 of the Westmoreland County Courthouse, Courthouse Square.
 -- Media on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 2 and 7 p.m. in council chambers of the Borough Hall, State and Jackson streets.
 -- Philadelphia on Thursday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. in Room 1306 of the State Office Building, Broad and Spring Garden streets, and at 7 p.m. in Room 400 of City Hall.
 Sworn testimony given at these hearings will become part of the record on which the commission will base its decision in the case.
 Persons wishing to testify should print their name on a sign-up sheet available at each session. Those filing written statements should submit two copies with the original.
 Chief Judge Turner will explain ground rules at the beginning of each hearing.
 In addition to the public input sessions, 13 days of evidentiary hearings have been scheduled at Harrisburg and Pittsburgh before Administrative Law Judges John H. Corbett Jr. and Larry Gesoff. The first hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31 at Harrisburg.
 Bell's filing was made Oct. 1 under Act 67 of 1993, which provides for regulatory reform and modernization of the state's telecommunications industry.
 Under the price mechanism proposal, Bell would freeze rates for basic residential and business service until at least June 30, 1996.


After that, the company wants to be allowed to raise those prices by as much as the annual rate of inflation, minus 2.25 percent. The inflation rate used would be the U.S. Department of Commerce's Gross Domestic Product-Fixed Weight Price Index.
 Bell has proposed that six services be designated as "competitive" and removed from price and earnings regulation. They are Yellow Pages advertising, billing services provided to long distance carriers, Centrex business switchboard-type service, paging, speed calling and repeat calling.
 Bell's plan for a "universal broadband network" calls for its balanced deployment over urban, suburban and rural areas. The network would be capable of voice, data, imaging and video transmission.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/29/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: A complete schedule of the evidentiary hearings is available./
 /CONTACT: John Frazier, press secretary of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 717-787-5722/
 (BEL)


CO: Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Public Utility
 Commission ST: Pennsylvania IN: TLS SU:


LJ-DC -- PH030 -- 8633 10/29/93 15:24 EDT
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Date:Oct 29, 1993
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