MCI Communications Corp wants to emulate Mercury Communications Ltd and get into the local phone business in the US with networks bypassing those of the local Baby Bells. According to the Wall Street Journal, which suggests MCI may announce its plans this week, it has set aside $1,000m for the effort and is looking at doing deals with cable television companies to carry much of its local traffic, and to build fibre optic Metropolitan Area Networks to fill in the gaps, using cable ducts it acquired with the assets that it bought from telex specialist Western Union Corp. It is expected to start in the 20 largest US cities, the aim being to avoid the heavy access charges it has to pay to the Baby Bells for delivering calls onto its long-distance network.
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