End to Ameritech monopoly in Michigan sought

MCI WorldCom on Thursday asked the Michigan Public Service Commission to order Ameritech Corp. to end its monopoly on local phone service as ordered by the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.

MCI specifically asked the commission to force Ameritech to allow competitors to lease parts of the existing public phone network that it controls and undergo third-party testing of critical operations support systems that competitors must use to serve customers.

Both requests fall in line with the 1996 act and Federal Communications Commission rules, which require the so-called Baby Bells, including Ameritech, to take steps to allow competitors into their local phone markets.

When informed of MCI's filing, Ameritech spokeswoman Sara Snyder called the complaints "schizophrenic," and said the local phone market Michigan has been open to competition for some time. She said the company is complying with regulations and is "confident the PSC will dismiss the complaints."

A PSC spokeswoman said the commission had not yet received a record of the filing by Thursday afternoon and declined to comment.

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