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July 26, 1988

PACIFIC BELL FILES FOR OPEN NET SERVICES

By CBR Staff Writer

The Pacific Bell Californian phone company arm of Pacific Telesis Group Inc has, as reported briefly (CI No 976) filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission to offer six new services which it claims meets the Federal Communications Commission’s demands for an Open Network Architecture. If approval is granted, Pacific Bell will be able to enter the voice messaging market which has been forbidden territory for the Bell operating companies up to now. Voice messaging and telephone answering companies will be also able to to provide services to customers more easily, claims the Bell company. Pacific Bell’s Open Network plan proposes making 31 basic service elements available. The six basic service elements submitted to the state regulators for approval represent the first set, and the company is asking for a provisional tariff to conduct a two-year market trial of the six services. If approved, trials will be conducted in up to 30 locations within the San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego areas. Trial results on pricing and demand would be used to refine the six basic service elements before they are assigned permanent prices. The Federal Communications Commission had asked the the seven Bell regional operating companies to submit Open Network Architecture plans, and the seven put up their proposals in February. The aim of the programme is to bring a wider array of services to consumers by ensuring that all enhanced service providers are given the same access to the telephone network as the telephone company to offer such services. Pacific Bell reckons its filing represents the first step any Bell has taken to make basic service elements available consistent with the Open Network requirements. The first proposal is for Forwarded Call Information for Multiple Users. This enables enhanced service providers to allow their customers’ phone numbers to be forwarded to the service provider’s premises and also enables providers to activate a stutter dial tone on their customers’ lines. Second is an Activate Message Waiting Indicator, designed to allow providers to activate a stutter dial tone on their customers’ lines remotely to inform them that they have messages waiting. Other proposals include Call Forwarding Bust Line/Don’t Answer (what?) for forwarding customers’ calls when they are on the line or do not answer, and Call Forwarding Busy Line.

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