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March 25, 1996

FCC ORDERS SUSPENSION OF PAYMENTS TO ARGENTINA’S TELINTAR

By CBR Staff Writer

The US Federal Communications Commission ordered all US carriers providing direct service to Argentina to suspend settlement payments to Argentine long-distance telephone company Telintar, owned by Argentina’s two basic telephone services, Telecom SA and Telefonica SA. The Commission said the monopoly international service provider in Argentina has used its market power to discriminate against individual US carriers, unilaterally blocking AT&T Corp’s circuits to Argentina, disabling AT&T’s USADirect Service and imposing discriminatory accounting rates. The actions are in retaliation for AT&T efforts to negotiate a lower accounting rate for landing calls. Once Telintar restores AT&T’s services the Federal Commission asks US carriers to make payments, including back payments, at $1.43 per minute, the lowest accounting rate currently in effect between a US carrier and Telintar. Further action will be contemplated if Telintar does not reverse its refusal to grant another US carrier, WorldCom Inc, facilities to complete all its traffic.

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