Comptel Applauds FCC For Removng Proposed AT&T/BelllSouth Merger

For Immediate Release November 2, 2006 Media Contact: Margaret Boles COMPTEL (202) 296-6650 (202) 296-7585

COMPTEL Applauds FCC for Removing Proposed AT&T/BellSouth Merger from Agenda

WASHINGTON, DC November 2, 2006 -- FCC late today removed the proposed AT&T/BellSouth merger from the agenda for tomorrow's open meeting. The following statement may be attributed to Earl Comstock, COMPTEL's President and CEO:

"COMPTEL applauds the FCC for choosing not to consider the proposed merger of AT&T and BellSouth at its Nov. 3 open meeting. Given AT&T's failure thus far to make a good faith effort to address legitimate public interest concerns, COMPTEL is heartened that the Commission did not bend to AT&T's pressure tactics. It remains to be seen whether AT&T ever engaged in any meaningful attempt to resolve those concerns but we look forward to seeing what, if any, last-minute proposals they may have made to the Commission.

"Despite the FCC's best efforts to conclude that this transaction is in the public interest, COMPTEL fully expects that the Commission will take the next steps designated under federal law. The law mandates that when the Commission is unable to reach a decision on the public interest merits of a proposed merger, the matter is to be put before an administrative law judge for hearing and recommendation on whether the merger promotes the public interest. We look forward to continuing to work with the Commission to ensure that, if the merger is approved, it is done so with conditions which protect the public interest."

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COMPTEL is the leading industry association representing communications service providers and their supplier partners. Based in Washington, D.C., COMPTEL advances its member's business through policy advocacy and through education, networking and trade shows. COMPTEL members are entrepreneurial companies building and deploying next-generation networks to provide competitive voice, data, and video services. COMPTEL members create economic growth and improve the quality of life of all Americans through technological innovation, new services, affordable prices and customer choice. COMPTEL members share a common objective: advancing communications through innovation and open networks. For more information, call COMPTEL at 202/296-6650.

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