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November 20, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The US Federal Communications Commission has approved a relaxation of the rules that will allow the Baby Bells to restructure their networks to the proposed Open Network Architecture digital schema, and to offer some digital services on them. The two key services they are currently permitted to offer are voice messaging services, and services gateways. In the latter, a customer is able to access a number of public database and electronic mail services through a single point, and get a single bill from the local phone company regardless of who owns the services used – which might be MCI Mail, The Source and the databases held by Mead Data Central. Most other computer based services are still verboten to the Bells, and under the new Commission ruling, they are required to charge competitors the same price for leased lines as they charge themselves on the internal accounting system.

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