Bell Atlantic C.E.O. Makes Plea for Rules Relief

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

Bell Atlantic President and CEO Ivan G. Seidenberg told an audience of business leaders at the Carroll School of Management's Chief Executives Club luncheon on March 11 that his firm is determined to be a world-wide player in the communications surge that is predicted to last well into the next century.

"We would rather have 10 percent of the world market than 100 percent of the Maine-to-Virginia market," said Seidenberg, whose company oversees local telephone service in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic areas.

Approximately 250 people came to the Boston Harbor Hotel for the event, part of the series of talks by leading business figures sponsored by the Chief Executives Club.

Seidenberg's appearance coincided with Bell Atlantic's continuing negotiations for a proposed merger with GTE Corp., which could make the emerging firm one of the world's communication giants. The audience listened as Seidenberg shared his strategy to improve and expand his firm's global position.

Companies like Bell Atlantic which want to be successful in such a venture, Seidenberg said, "must have a national scale and global access."

Seidenberg said that the changing of federal long-distance access regulations which limit Bell Atlantic's growth will be necessary for the firm's planned global expansion. Existing government regulations, he said, are the result of "looking in the rear view mirror instead of looking ahead."

The company's current initiatives include investing in improved data transmission, wireless communication and the installation of high-speed modems into homes, Seidenberg said.

"More than 18 million of our customers will be banking online by 2002," he said, predicting the need for better communications services. Return to March 18 menu

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