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The Bell Atlantic / GTE 'press release'

  Here it is.  I haven't had time yet to dig into it.
  I don't plan on taking it at face value.
  - Dan
  >March 18, 1996 8:00 a.m. 
  >Bell Atlantic, GTE lead ISDN price cuts 
  >By Erica Schroeder 
  >LOS ANGELES--Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp. are leading the latest
  charge to cut ISDN prices, as users clamor for
  >more bandwidth for Internet communications. 
  >The two telecommunications providers also are simplifying installation of
  their ISDN services, officials said last week.
  >These moves come as most providers are offering businesses bundled and
  preconfigured services and are taking steps to
  >speed installations. 
  >"ISDN is a lot more important today. A lot of the applications [we're using
  right now] are [Basic Rate Interface] ISDN,"
  >said Chuck Askine, telecom manager for United States Fidelity & Guarantee
  Co., in Baltimore. "It's getting much easier to
  >get installed now--Bell Atlantic is saying they'll get you an ISDN line in
  six days." 
  >Bell Atlantic, which leads in the United States in total ISDN installed
  lines, will propose pricing to allow users to select a
  >plan with a certain number of hours of usage, such as 20, 40, 60, or 200
  hours, with a 1- or 2-cent-per-minute charge for
  >additional usage. 
  >The plan, which will be submitted to Public Utilities Commissions in each
  state in the Bell Atlantic region as early as May,
  >would reduce for most users the total amount spent on ISDN, which currently
  is about $30 per month with a usage charge
  >of 2 cents per minute for peak time or 1 cent off-peak, according to
  officials of the Philadelphia-based RBOC (Regional Bell
  >Operating Company). 
  >GTE will extend the new, lower prices it currently offers in Washington
  state to the other 13 states where it offers ISDN
  >As soon as next week, GTE will file to offer new pricing in California and
  Pennsylvania that will allow users to choose
  >from either 25- or 50-hour service plans or a flat-rate plan. It will
  extend the offer next quarter to customers in Florida and
  >GTE will expand ISDN service to six more states this year and to the
  remaining eight states where it currently offers analog
  >phone line long-distance services in 1997, said officials of the
  Dallas-based telecommunications company. 
  >BellSouth is offering four packages for residential and business customers
  as a way to simplify ordering and installation.
  >The program is aimed at lowering BellSouth costs, which will then be
  parlayed into lower ISDN rates for users, said a
  >But even with the new flat-rate schemes, providers are not showing a united
  front for an ISDN pricing model, which in
  >some cases means raising tariffs that may drive end-user prices up,
  depending on the carrier. 
  >RBOCs, including Pacific Bell and US West Communications, of Omaha, Neb.,
  have refiled ISDN tariff rates that for
  >many users may mean higher costs. The providers are defending these moves,
  which have been assailed by users, as
  >necessary to adjust for the different way in which people use ISDN service
  compared with phone service. Many ISDN
  >sessions last several hours for Internet access. 
  >"We have to cover the cost of our service, and if we can't, we have no
  incentive to offer the service," said a US West
  >spokesman in Denver. 
  >In addition to pricing changes, other efforts are under way to make getting
  and using ISDN easier for customers. 
  >Microsoft Corp. last week announced its "Get ISDN" Internet program to help
  speed requests and installation of ISDN
  >service for the RBOCs, Southern New England Telephone, and GTE. 
  >The Redmond, Wash., company will update its ISDN capabilities for Windows
  95 in the second half of the year with
  >improved audio protocols and call setup functions, said officials. 
  >America Online Inc. is also at work on offering ISDN access for its online
  services, said sources. 
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