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TEXAS COURT REVERSES REGULATORY DECISION; FAVORS MFS AND OTHER COMPETITIVE TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDERS

 OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Arguments offered by the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) along with a coalition of companies supporting competitive telecommunications services, including MFS Communications Co., Inc. (MFS) (NASDAQ: MFST), resulted in a reversal of an earlier court decision and stymied a move by Southwestern Bell to derail competition for certain local telecommunications services in Texas.
 The Travis County District Court reconsidered and reversed its earlier decision that would have overruled a PUC decision allowing competitive companies to provide certain local telecommunications services without the need to obtain certification from the state as a conventional local exchange company. The initial action was brought by Southwestern Bell as the result of a pro-competitive order by the Texas PUC last October that freed Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), such as MFS, from most regulation as non-dominant carriers, while continuing traditional regulation of services provided by monopoly-based local exchange carriers, such as Southwestern Bell.
 "We are very pleased that Judge Jeanne Meurer reopened the case and reversed the original decision," said Royce J. Holland, MFS president.
 "The ultimate winners in this case are telecommunications users who will have greater choice in who provides their telecommunications services. As a result, these customers will be able to enjoy higher- quality and more reliable service that results from competition. Without the continued regulatory oversight, Southwestern Bell would have been free to subsidize its unregulated services with revenues from captive rate payers of the local phone service monopoly," Holland said.
 The PUC's decision allowed competitive companies to provide the following services without significant constraints:
 -- Private line and virtual private line services;
 -- Dedicated and virtually dedicated access services, linking long distance carriers to customers;
 -- Nonvoice data transmission services;
 -- Dark fiber (installed but carrying no signal) services;
 -- Centrex services; and
 -- Billing and collection services.
 "The Texas PUC actions, as well as those by state regulators in other states and the Federal Communications Commission, are designed to foster the growth of competition for telecommunications services," said Holland. "The court's reversal not only reaffirms the PUC's order, but serves as an independent endorsement of the legality and wisdom of its pro-competitive policies."
 -0- 8/19/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Ingish, 708-218-7316, or Claire Fennell, 708-218-7232, both of MFS Communications Co., Inc./
 (MFST)


CO: MFS Communications Co, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: TLS SU:

SM -- NY058 -- 4382 08/19/93 14:07 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 19, 1993
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