Tennessee Regulatory Authority approves BellSouth for entry into long distance market; request to FCC for final approval to follow

August 26, 2002

1 Min Read

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Regulatory Authority on Monday unanimously voted to endorse BellSouth's application to enter the long distance market, clearing the way for the company to seek final permission from the Federal Communications Commission. "We're extremely pleased that, after detailed review, the TRA has confirmed that we have met all the requirements of the Telecommunications Act and that our entry into long distance is in the public interest," Marty Dickens, president of BellSouth's Tennessee operations said. "We are confident that, based on the Tennessee record, we will be permitted to bring the benefits of true long distance competition home to the people of Tennessee by the end of the year," he said. The TRA order confirms that BellSouth has met its obligations to open its market to competitive local providers, as specified by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The next step in the approval process is for BellSouth to file its request to enter the long distance market with the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC, which will request detailed input from the TRA, will have 90 days to issue a ruling on the request. Dickens said the company is now working toward its last round of FCC applications, which likely will involve Tennessee and Florida. The FCC approved Georgia and Louisiana on May 15 and is expected to rule on applications from five other states by mid-September. All of BellSouth's nine states use the same systems and processes for allowing competitors to interconnect and serve their customers. BellSouth Corp.

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