Armstrong Wants Reg Changes

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WASHINGTON -AT&T Corp. chairman C. Michael Armstrong last week warned that his company needs some policy changes in order to effectively compete as a local telephony provider.

In a speech at the National Press Club last Wednesday, Armstrong said he wants the Federal Communications Commission to lift cable-system ownership limits to help boost cable-telephony penetration.

He also wants the FCC to force incumbent local phone companies-such as the regional Bell operating companies-to provide "economically viable" discounts for leasing network access.

"Pure and simple, we are being pushed out of the market by the inflated prices the Bells are charging," Armstrong said. "If nothing changes, we will be forced to shut down our local-service business in both New York and Texas." AT&T buys local phone capacity in those states and resells it to consumers.

The move would not affect AT&T Broadband's 600,000 cable-telephony customers.

States News Service

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