NYNEX, Others to Conduct Telecommunications Industry

Trial Of Local Phone Number Portability in New York Business/Telecommunications Editors ALBANY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 13, 1995--

NYNEX and 10 other telecommunications industry leaders said this week they will conduct a trial, beginning February 1996 in Manhattan and Rochester, of a service that will allow telephone customers to keep their local phone numbers when switching among various local service providers.

The six-month trial would be the first of its kind in the nation. It is expected to produce an industry-wide solution to technical hurdles that have prevented local phone companies from offering true number portability, as state and federal regulatory agencies and lawmakers move to encourage competition in the local telecommunications industry.

NYNEX, MFS Intelenet Inc. and AT&T are co-chairs of the 11-company trial committee, which also includes Cellular One/Genesee Telephone Company, Citizens Telecom of New York, LOCATE, MCI, Rochester Telephone, Sprint, TCG, and Time Warner Communications. Representatives from these companies met with vendors March 9 in Manhattan in preparation for issuing a Request For Proposal (RFP) later this month. The vendor selected through the RFP process would furnish its proposed product at no cost for the duration of the trial.

Currently, NYNEX and some other local companies provide an interim version of number portability based on the latest available technology. Most often, this involves transferring calls using a method similar to remote call forwarding. The 11 companies are working in cooperation with the New York State Public Service Commission, which, on March 8, ordered a study of the feasibility of conducting a number portability trial using database technology. Already -- using a nationwide database -- customers with 800 numbers can switch between service providers without changing their 800 number. However, because of the large number of nationwide local phone numbers, it has been not been considered possible to use a similar database for local number portability.

`NYNEX supports competition in all aspects of the telecommunications industry,` said Larry Chu, NYNEX director of State Regulatory Planning and co-chair of the trial committee. `We look forward to working with equipment providers, software specialists, interexchange carriers and our competitors in the local market to provide a long-term solution to this issue that will serve as a nationwide model.`

Earlier this year, NYNEX became the first regional phone company to sign contracts with competitors -- MFS Intelenet Inc. and Cablevision -- to provide interim number portability.

Suzanne Yerdon, director of Industry Affairs for MFS Intelenet and co-chair of the trial committee, stated, `We support the pro-competive positions of the New York Public Service Commission, and we are pleased to participate in this cooperative industry effort to explore solutions to database number portability.`

--30--bk/ny.. CONTACT: NYNEX Mark Marchand, 518/396-1080 or MFS Intelenet, Claire Dunnett, 708/218-7232 KEYWORD: NEW YORK INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPEATS: New York 212-575-8822 or 800-221-2462; Boston 617-330-5311 or 800-225-2030; SF 415-986-4422 or 800-227-0845; LA 310-820-9473 AP-NY-03-13-95 0829EST This material is copyrighted and may not be republished without permission of the originating newspaper or wire service. NewsHound is a service of the San Jose Mercury News. For more information call 1-800-818-NEWS.