BOSTON -- Bell Atlantic Corp., the largest U.S. local phone company, said yesterday that it plans within six weeks to ask regulators for permission to become the first regional Bell company in the long-distance business.
"That's as firm a time frame as I can give," said Ivan Seidenberg, Bell Atlantic's chairman and chief executive officer. The company's application to the Federal Communications Commission seeks permission to offer long-distance services to its local customers in New York.
Analysts expect the FCC to approve the application. Bell Atlantic and other regional telephone companies formed in the breakup of the Bell System are required to prove that their local markets are open to competition before they can sell long-distance services.
FCC Chairman William E. Kennard said he doesn't expect to receive a long-distance application for a few months.
Bell Atlantic has been working with New York state regulators to improve its systems that connect competitors to its local network and process their orders. The company will focus on getting approval in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania after the New York application is filed, Seidenberg said.
Pub Date: 3/12/99