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Edward E. Whitacre, Jr.

chairman & ceo, sbc communications

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Edward Whitacre addresses the Chief Executives’ Club of Boston.

SBC Exec Pushes Federal Reforms

The head of the nation's second largest local phone company took his fight for federal reforms to Boston yesterday, telling local business leaders that such changes could create thousands of jobs.

Edward Whitacre, chief of San Antonio, Texas-based SBC Communications, told the Boston College Chief Executives' Club that rules governing phone competition hurt local phone companies such as SBC and Verizon Inc.

He said the rules open their networks to rivals at below-market rates.

Whitacre cited one recent study that claims those rules contributed to the loss of 380,000 U.S. jobs after telecom law reforms in 1996. He cited another study that claims more reforms could produce more than 90,000 new U.S. jobs a year.

He also said companies such as SBC would be more willing to expand their wires that give speedy Internet connections if they knew they wouldn't be forced to lease those lines at bargain rates to competitors.

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Luncheon attendees including Thomas Menino (Mayor, City of Boston), Chad Gifford (Chairman, Bank of America), Timothy McMahon (President, Adam's Harkness), (Chairman, President, & CEO, Liberty Mutual Group), Thomas May (Chairman, N*STAR), William Leahy, S.J. (President, Boston College) , Charles Baker (President & CEO, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care), Dr. David Barrett (CEO, Lahey Clinic), and Robert Reynolds (Vice-Chairman & CEO) listen to the keynote address.

Article by Jon Chesto
Boston Herald
Friday, May 7th, 2004