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November 1, 1997
NEW YORK–Virginia A. Dwyer, former AT&T
senior vice president of finance, passed away Sept. 29 at the age
During her 43-year career with AT&T, Dwyer played a major
role in many of AT&T’s financial activities. Before the
breakup of the Bell System, Dwyer directed stock and bond
financings totaling as much as $7 billion annually. She was
responsible for the development of plans for the distribution of
stock in the seven regional telephone companies formed in January
1984 when the Bell System split from AT&T, and represented
AT&T at the New York Stock Exchange when stock in AT&T
and the seven regional Bell companies began trading.
"Ginny Dwyer was admired and respected by me, her
colleagues and Wall Street as a consummate professional and
genuinely nice person," said AT&T Chair Robert Allen.
"She was a unique woman who made a lasting impact on
AT&T and the financial world."
WASHINGTON–The Alliance for
Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) announced the
availability of the Network Reliability Interoperability
Council’s (NRIC’s) Report and Recommendations on implementing
Section 256 of the Telecommunications Act. The report, Network
Interoperability: The Key to Competition, was prepared by the
NRIC at the request of the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC). Section 256 requires the FCC to set procedures and to
ensure the ability of users and information providers to
"seamlessly and transparently transmit information between
and across telecommunications networks."
WASHINGTON–The Department of Justice (DOJ)
approved a proposal by National Consumer Telecommunications Data
Exchange Inc. (NCTDE) and its member long distance
telecommunications carriers to exchange information about
consumers who have failed to make payment on residential
The proposal is designed to reduce the amount of uncollectible
debt owed to long distance carriers on residential accounts and
should lower costs to consumers. Member carriers would be
required to inform a third party of the identity of any closed
residential account with an undisputed and unpaid balance in
excess of an amount as yet undetermined. All members would be
able to question the third-party vendor to verify whether an
applicant for new long distance service had failed to pay a long
distance bill. Neither the carrier sending the information nor
the carrier receiving it would know the identity of the other
The DOJ’s position was stated in a letter to counsel for the
NCTDE from Joel Klein, assistance attorney general in charge of
the antitrust division. Klein’s letter said the proposal was not
likely to create any anticompetitive effects since the program
was designed with sufficient safeguards. No information
pertaining to prices or other terms of service would be
WASHINGTON–The Telecommunications Resellers
Association (TRA) and the National Wireless Resellers Association
(NWRA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) expressing
their intent to combine the two entities. The organization will
continue to be called the TRA.
"The step we take today responds to the changes occurring
in the telecommunications industry. Resellers, to succeed in
tomorrow’s marketplace, must offer consumers multiple services
that are readily accessible, competitively priced and billed in a
manner that is simple and direct. By combining the skills and
expertise of our two organizations, the new TRA can play a
leading role in helping resellers meet these challenges,"
said Jim Wolfinger, president of NWRA.
All NWRA members in good standing would be granted immediate
membership in TRA when the agreement is finalized. Ernie Kelly,
TRA’s current president, would remain in that capacity. David
Gusky, NWRA’s executive director, would join TRA’s staff as the
WASHINGTON–The United States Telephone
Association (USTA) joined the regional Bell operating companies
(RBOCs) in petitioning the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to
enforce its ruling on national interconnection pricing standards.
In the Sept. 18 filing, the USTA said the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) is attempting to usurp the Court’s mandate by
requiring the Bell Companies to price interconnection according
to its original national pricing standard, or their applications
for in-region long distance entry could be denied.
"This is a grossly unfair test that defies the intent of
the 1996 Act," said Roy Neel, president and CEO of the USTA.
"The FCC cannot hold the Bell Companies to a national
pricing standard that has been overruled in a court of law. The
court ruled that the states have authority to set pricing for all
local telephone companies and the FCC has apparently singled out
the Bell Companies in an attempt to reinstate its below-cost
national pricing scheme."
BETHESDA, Md.–The Independent Payphone
Service Providers for Consumer Choice (IPSPCC) has been formed to
protect the rights of operator service businesses. In the spirit
of the Telecommunications Act, the IPSPCC seeks to foster fair
competition, and to protect payphone location providers’ rights
to choice where operator services are concerned.
According to IPSPCC, regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs)
are selecting preferred carriers to provide long distance
operator services for public pay telephones. The IPSPCC’s mission
is to educate lawmakers about tactics being used by RBOCs,
educate payphone location providers about their rights and to
ensure a fair and competitive operator services marketplace.
WASHINGTON–Five companies have been added to
the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS)
membership rolls, including a key wireline service provider,
asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), digital subscriber line (DSL)
and signaling system 7 (SS7) manufacturers and the association’s
first developer of telecommunications software.
The approved companies include: Bell Communications Research
Inc., a global provider of telecommunications software;
TCI/Wireline, a facilities-based wireline provider; Brooks Fiber
Properties, a provider of local, competitive access, Internet and
long distance services; Network Programs Inc., a manufacturer of
ATM switches and DSL modems; and DataKinetics, Ltd., a U.K.-based
manufacturer of signaling converters and SS7 access products.
CHICAGO–The International Engineering
Consortium recently published a report designed to help
professionals in the telecommunications industry deploy
broadband/multimedia services in the local loop.
The Local Loop: Access Technologies, Services and Business
Issues examines the importance of new access technologies such as
xDSL, wireless broadband and asynchronous transfer mode in the
loop and the local loop, as well as how deregulation and
unbundling of the local loop is progressing.
For more information regarding this report, visit the
International Engineering Consortium’s web site at www.iec.org.
NATIK, Mass.–Venture Development Corp.
(VDC), a technology research market company, recently released
the results of its study of the World Signaling System 7 (SS7)
The 1996 world SS7 market totaled $8.653 billion. The leading
platform and software categories in descending order were:
SCP/AP Platforms: 32.1 percent.
SSP Software: 30.5 percent.
IP/SN Platforms: 22.2 percent.
MMS SS7 Software: 7.6 percent.
STP Platforms: 7.6 percent.
The world SS7 market was defined as SS7 product shipments to
service providers and large end users. Original equipment
manufacturer (OEM)/system integrator sales were excluded from the
world market in order to avoid double counting of sales revenues.
Vendor revenues were represented and segmented into OEM and world
WASHINGTON–Industry reaction to the Federal
Communications Commission’s (FCC) revision of its payphone
compensation rules Oct. 9 was less than enthusiastic, and both
interexchange carriers (IXCs) and payphone service providers
(PSPs) agree the new, lower rate is not fair compensation. Each
side, however, has a different idea of what’s fair.
The FCC lowered its compensation rate from 35 cents to 28.4
cents per call following a July ruling by the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the FCC did not
justify the 35 cent rate sufficiently.
The payphone compensation rules are part of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, which states that PSPs must be
compensated for 800 or access card calls by IXCs.
Since the FCC’s initial rate was decided, IXCs have argued
that the PSPs’ costs for handling coinless calls are lower than
35 cents. The PSPs, which include regional Bell operating
companies (RBOCs), meanwhile, have stated they should be
compensated at least 35 cents per call to cover the total
costs of maintaining large numbers of payphones.
Needless to say, the Oct. 9 decision made for a lot of unhappy
"We’re extremely disappointed that the FCC is determined
to grant payphone operators an unjustified windfall at the
expense of customers. That’s not what the Telecom Act had in
mind," said Rick Bailey, AT&T vice president for federal
government affairs. "There is no sound economic data to
support granting these (payphone) owners 28.4 cents per call. In
fact, AT&T and others have shown that the actual cost of
handling (800) traffic is about 12 cents per call."
Likewise, the American Public Communications Council Inc.
(APCC) believes the new rate is unjust.
"While this order reduces much of the uncertainty with
respect to dial-around compensation, we are disappointed that the
FCC order does not allow PSPs to fully recover the costs of
delivering these calls, which the record before the FCC showed to
be in the 32 cents to 42 cents range," said Vincent R.
Sandusky, APCC president. "The inability of PSPs to recover
their costs on these calls (which make up well over 20 percent of
the calls made from a payphone) will undoubtedly put pressure on
the rates charged by PSPs for other services and may adversely
impact the overall deployment of payphones."
The long-term effect this new rate will have on wholesale
rates and related industries such as the prepaid calling card
industry remains to be seen. It seems likely, however, that the
next battle over payphone compensation will be fought in the
WASHINGTON–The following is a reprint of the
letter sent to Kenneth S. Fellman, chair of the Federal
Communications Commission’s Local and State Government Advisory
Committee. Heather Gold, Thomas Wheeler, Genevieve Morelli,
Decker Armstrong and Roy Neel all signed the letter as presidents
of their respective telecommunications associations.
Dear Mr. Fellman:
The Association for Local
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 imposes certain
The Commission has a number of petitions before it
We look forward toward exploring areas of agreement on
MCLEAN, Va.–LCC International Inc. announced
the opening of its Cellular Institute to students on the World
Wide Web. LCC will team up with Microwave Online Services Co. of
Boulder, Colo., to provide interactive radio frequency and other
wireless telecommunications courses to executives and engineers
who require a proficient understanding of the industry.
Founded in response to a growing industry shortage of
qualified engineering and executive wireless telecommunications
personnel, the online Cellular Institute will provide coursework
in radio frequency engineering and wireless tools.
Currently, 440 radio frequency engineers are deployed by LCC
worldwide, servicing customers for U.S. and international
cellular system operators including AT&T Wireless,
Southwestern Bell and France Telecom, as well as companies
building personal communications service systems.
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