BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Bell Atlantic will announce its new long distance service Tuesday, marking its entrance into the lucrative New York long distance market.
Last month the Federal Communications Commission approved Bell Atlantic’s bid to offer long distance service in New York state, making it the first regional Bell company to offer this service inside its local region.
Under the FCC ruling, New York consumers can begin using Bell Atlantic’s long distance services beginning Jan. 5.
Bell Atlantic officials have scheduled a news conference in New York City Tuesday to announce its long distance services, Mark Marchand, Bell Atlantic’s director of media relations, said Monday.
Officials refused to comment on a Wall Street Journal story that said the company plans to offer 10 cents-a-minute long distance service, available anytime. The Journal cited sources familiar with Bell Atlantic’s plans.
Rival long distance providers have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the FCC’s decision.
The parties involved in the suit are expected to file comments with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit early this week. Under the 1996 Telecommunications Act, a Bell company must show that it has opened up its local monopoly to give rivals a chance to compete before it can offer long-distance.
Bell Atlantic expects to win over 25 percent to 30 percent of the $8 billion market within the next five years, according to Bell Atlantic president and chief operating officer James Cullen.