| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 1995
TDD (202) 514-1888
Statement of Anne K. Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, Department of Justice, Concerning Telecommunications Bill voted out of Senate Commerce Committee Thursday, March 23, 1995:
The Administration is gratified that telecommunications reform legislation has been agreed upon by a majority of the Senate Commerce Committee, and congratulates Senators Pressler and Hollings on a significant advance in the effort to guarantee open and competitive telecommunications markets. However, the Administration is concerned that the legislation approved by the Committee today falls short of the steps needed to open local telecommunications markets to real competition. More work remains to be done to make certain that this legislation gives consumers the choice and low prices in local telephone service, long distance and cable service which Americans deserve and rightfully expect, and the Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to achieve those goals.
While the Administration is still analyzing the bill, the legislation voted out of the Senate Commerce Committee today appears to be a substantial improvement over the Pressler draft of January 11, 1995, in that it removes the so-called "date certain" for entry of the Regional Bell Operating Companies into long distance. The bill also contains several areas in which it appears that further improvement is needed:
The Administration understands that this bill represents only a first, but important, step in the legislative process. The Administration is still analyzing the bill and looks forward to working with the Congress to strengthen its provisions in these and other respects before final passage to further the goal of obtaining open markets and the benefits of competition for American consumers in the vital telecommunications arena.