AT&T touts local success

AT&T says it now serves 1 million small-business local phone lines with its All In One rate plan.

The carrier attributes its success to the FCC’s continued support of its unbundled network element platform (UNE-P) rule.

The commission issued its final order regarding the rule that requires the incumbent local exchange carriers to make their network facilities available at discounted rates.

AT&T’s All In One service allows small businesses to bundle their local and long distance voice service for a flat rate on one bill. The carrier says that this service is primarily supported using UNE-P.

AT&T is also supporting a similar bundled service for 3 million consumers in 13 states.

Not surprisingly, the company is very much in favor of the US Federal Communication Commission’s UNE-P ruling. In a press release the carrier issued this week, David Dorman, chairman and CEO at AT&T, says “the commission opted to continue making the benefits of local competition available to the people who matter most - customers seeking the best value for their telecommunications dollar.”

Verizon Communications , BellSouth , Qwest Communications International and SBC Communications have a different take on the ruling. The ILECs say long-haul competitors like AT&T, MCI and Sprint should not be allowed to use their networks at cut rates. The ILECs say competitors should have to build their own networks.

Just a week after the FCC issued its local competition ruling, the United States Telecom Association, representing Qwest, BellSouth and SBC, filed a petition in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, asking the court to force the FCC to rewrite its ruling.

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