MCI denies call routing approach, fights AT&T claims

WorldCom said Monday that its own internal analysis shows it has met legal and regulatory requirements for call routing, contrary to claims made by AT&T Corp.

The company, now operating under the name MCI, filed a response in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to AT&T's complaint filed a week ago to the court. Those claims came in the form of an objection to WorldCom's restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Other carriers have joined AT&T in complaining that the company routed calls improperly in ways that allowed it to make smaller access fee payments than required. AT&T was the only carrier to file an objection in bankruptcy court, however.

The MCI filing Monday called AT&T's charges baseless and "demonstrably false" and charged they are designed to derail MCI's reorganization plan. MCI called AT&T's actions a "misuse of the bankruptcy process." It also predicted further efforts to obstruct its reorganization efforts and urged the court to view the tactics in the "highly charged competitive environment evident in this case."

MCI said its contract with one smaller carrier, Onvoy in Minneapolis, for least-cost routing services was "completely legal and commonplace." That agreement included routing U.S. calls through Canada and back again.

MCI's analysis of call routing continues, officials said, through the services of Washington law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

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