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November 16, 1993

LOCAL TELEPHONE AND TELEVISION WON’T MIX IN US

By CBR Staff Writer

In a remarkable example of creating problems where none exist, the Wall Street Journal reports that some telephone-industry executives think it would be unwieldy and expensive for most cable television companies to offer local phone service any time soon – despite the fact that such a system is working quite happily in the UK already: BellSouth Corp spokesman Robert Morrow noted to the Journal that many areas of the US are served by more than one cable operator and that those companies would have to work out complex agreements to switch calls between neighbourhoods in order to duplicate the kind of phone service now offered by the local phone company – but the same applies in the UK, and all the cable operators have to do is to do an arm’s length agreement with MCI Communications Corp or Sprint Corp to provide the long-distance connections between their systems any such agreements would not actually involve the long-distance carriers offering local phone service to subscribers.

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