Commentary: Why Sbc Shouldn't Be The First Bell In Long Distance

Local-phone giant SBC Communications Inc. says it has 4,000 employees dedicated to opening its markets to competition. Under terms of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, SBC and other Baby Bells must prove that their local markets are open to competition before they may enter the lucrative long-distance business. But rivals have their own ideas about SBC's approach. "As near as I can tell, they've got 15 engineers and 3,985 lawyers," says Manning Lee, vice-president for regulatory affairs at Teleport Communications Group Inc., which competes against Bells such as SBC.

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