FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          AT
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1996                        (202) 616-2771
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

        JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ASKS FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS ABOUT
        BELL OPERATING COMPANIES' ENTRY INTO LONG DISTANCE                           

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice is asking all
interested parties to submit position papers addressing several
important questions relating to the impact of the Bell companies'
entry into the long distance services market.  

     Joel I. Klein, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge
of the Department's Antitrust Division, said that the submissions
would assist the Department in developing a general analytical
framework for evaluating the Bell companies' applications to
provide in-region long distance service.  

     "This process is extremely important," said Klein, "and we
want to get as much input and provide as much guidance as
possible."

     Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Department
will consult with and provide comments to the Federal
Communications Commission--which must give "substantial weight"
to the Department's evaluation in determining whether to grant or
deny any Bell Company application to provide long distance
service within its region.  

     Klein further commented that, once the Department has
developed its approach to considering the various applications,
he intends to explain publicly the Department's analytical
framework in order to set out under what conditions the
Department will support Bell entry into long distance services.

     All interested parties are invited to address the questions
outlined in the attached letter and submit their response by
December 13, 1996.

     The response should not exceed 25 pages, and should be
submitted to Don Russell, Chief of the Telecommunications Task
Force, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice, 555 4th Street,
Room 8104, Washington, D.C. 20001.

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96-568