US telecommunications giant MCI Communications Corp has launched its latest attack on the Regional Bell Operating Companies by criticizing Nynex Corp. It’s already attacked BellSouth Corp, Ameritech Inc and Bell Atlantic in similar fashion over the past few weeks. MCI has described New York operator Nynex as either embarrassingly incompetent or intentionally evil. The dispute is over whether Nynex is fulfilling its obligations under the 1996 Telecommunications act, which called for opening up the US local telecommunications market to fair competition, from January 1997. MCI claims that Nynex is deliberately handicapping its entry into the local market by failing to have a fully automated system to handle service switching, thus restricting the number of customers that can be transferred over to MCI. Nynex responded with a rebuttal, saying that the statement was a transparent attempt to block our entry into the long distance market, and added that the problems that were affecting MCI hadn’t affected the 25 other resellers of local calls in New York which had switched over more clients in one day, than MCI has in total. Last month MCI made an unexpected provision in its second quarter results for an $800m loss in the local market (CI No 3,215), with further losses anticipated next year, due to lower success than expected in breaking into the market.
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