US West Inc, the Denver phone company, has given the required three years’ notice of its intention to resign from Bell Communications Research, the jointly-owned research co-operative set up by the seven regional phone companies spun off from AT&T. Bellcore has three main functions – to maintain common standards following the break-up of the Bell System, to undertake research on behalf of the shareholder companies, and to co-ordinate and ensure smooth running of the network in the event of a national emergency. US West complains that Bellcore no longer reflects the climate of competition between the seven, and instead of doing only shared research, it wants the Livingston, New Jersey non-profit organisation to undertake proprietary research commissioned by individual members. With a mandatory three year notice period, there is time enough for Bellcore and the other six to reach some kind of compromise with dissident US West.
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