SBC to Get Another Chance at Long Distance Service

SAN MATEO (04/04/2000) - Local telephone giant SBC Communications Inc. will get another run at the long distance market, provided it complies with key directives the U.S. Federal Communications Commission spelled out Monday.

The U.S. Justice Department on February 14 recommended FCC not allow regional phone company SBC to provide long distance until its DSL lines are opened to competitors.

FCC Chairman William Kennard agreed to "restart the 90-day clock" on SBC's amended long distance petition. But Kennard made it clear that companies that spoke out against SBC's long distance play originally, will get a chance to weigh in on its new effort.

Kennard also gave some clues as to what the FCC will be specifically looking for this time around: whether or not SBC offers its competitors access to unbundled loops, provisions loops to its competitors on a non-discriminatory basis, and integrates its competitors' operations support systems.

SBC Communications Inc. in San Antonio, Texas is at www.sbc.com. The Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. is at www.fcc.gov.

Jennifer Jones is an InfoWorld senior editor.

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