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Regulatory News – Competitors Gain Ground Against Verizon in Massachusetts

Posted: 02/2001

Regulatory News

Competitors Gain Ground Against Verizon in
Massachusetts
By Kim Sunderland

Verizon Communication’s (www.verizon.com)
application to provide InterLATA services in Massachusetts "came
close" to meeting the FCC’s approval standard, but not close enough after
concerns emerged regarding its high-speed Internet service.

Because Verizon withdrew its bid at the 11th hour–in mid-December–it now
won’t gain a Section 271 approval from the commission until sometime this year,
FCC (www.fcc.gov) Chairman William E. Kennard
says.

The delay gives competitive carriers more opportunity to ensure Verizon has
opened its local market in Massachusetts for them.

Verizon withdrew its in-region, long-distance bid just before the FCC was
scheduled to rule on it.company officials explained they wanted to supplement
the record before the commission ruled.

Kennard has told Verizon to address nondiscriminatory provisioning of loops
used by competitors to provide advanced services; improved access to the systems
and information necessary to order loops used to provide advanced services; and
pricing of elements used by competitors, which reflects forward-looking costs.

Last October, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ, www.usdoj.gov)
said that Verizon hadn’t adequately addressed competitors’ concerns regarding
access for DSL service. The DOJ specifically questioned whether competing DSL
providers had enough time to review Verizon’s application and comment on the
access issue, according to Verizon.

"Refiling will address these concerns by allowing interested parties
additional comment," says Tom Tauke, Verizon’s senior vice president of
external affairs and public policy.

Tauke says Verizon would update its application to confirm "that we do
provide parity of service for DSL."

Once refiled, the DOJ again will offer its recommendation, and the FCC has 90
days to rule on the application.


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