Communications-related Headlines for 4/25/97

Merger of NYNEX and Bell Atlantic Clears U.S. Hurdle

Political Spotlight Shines on Volunteer Conference

Bell Atlantic-Nynex Deal Moves Forward

Foundation Plans to Leave Internet-Name Oversight

Justice Approves Bell Atlantic, Nynex Merger

Kids and Computers

Chorus of Boos Greets TV Rating System

Witnesses Assail NTIA Infrastructure Grants Program
Title: Merger of NYNEX and Bell Atlantic Clears U.S. Hurdle
Source: New York Times (A1)
Author: Mark Landler
Issue: Mergers
Description: The US Justice Department announced on 4/24 that it will not
attempt to block the merger of local telephone companies Nynex and Bell
Atlantic. The merger, originally announced a year ago, will create a $22
billion corporation serving 39 million customers in 13 states and the
District of Columbia. The merger was opposed by many consumer advocates
because the size of the new company may deter local competition in the
service area (Maine to Virginia). The deal still needs approval from the
Federal Communications Commission.

Title: Political Spotlight Shines on Volunteer Conference
Source: New York Times (A25)
Author: R.W. Apple Jr.
Issue: Civic Participation
Description: The Presidents' Summit for America's Future opens next week in
an attempt to promote the benefits of volunteerism. "Volunteerism is
becoming a core value in America," says a Democratic pollster. "It is a
response to the need for a rebuilt sense of community. People are waking up
to the fact that they communicate around the world on the Internet and yet
don't know their neighbors." The Summit is seen as a way for President
Clinton to restate smaller government themes and for 2000 presidential
hopefuls to vie for the spotlight. The summit has it critics: one
government official says that on the scale of what they can do to solve
problems volunteers are a 1 and the government is a 10. Rush Limbaugh says
the event is all about "fleecing corporations" in "an incremental little
approach to more socialistic attitude."

Title: Bell Atlantic-Nynex Deal Moves Forward
Source: Wall Street Journal ( (A3)
Author: John R.Wilke and Leslie Cauley
Issue: Media Mergers/Phone Regulation
Description: The Justice Department approved the $23 million merger between
Bell Atlantic and Nynex. This deal is the second largest merger in history
and establishes a communications company with customers from Maine to
Virginia. Critics of the merger believe that the Telecommunications Act,
which was supposed to promote competition, is just leading to the formation
of megacompanies. Other recent large media mergers include: Time Warner
and Turner, Disney and Capital Cities/ABC, US West and Continental
Cablevision, SBS Communications and Pacific Telesis. The Justice
Department's approval of this AT&T deal bodes well for MCI and British
Telecom and their proposed merger.

Title: Foundation Plans to Leave Internet-Name Oversight
Source: Wall Street Journal ( (B6)
Author: WSJ Staff Reporter
Issue: Internet
Description: The National Science Foundation has decided not to renew
Network Solution's contract to register domain names for the Internet.
Network Solutions, a private company, has been awarding domain names for 4
years and contends that it will continue to do so after the contract

Title: Justice Approves Bell Atlantic, Nynex Merger
Source: Washington Post ( (D1)
Author: Mike Mills
Issue: Phone Regulation/Media Mergers
Description: The Bell Atlantic - Nynex merger has been approved by the US
Justice Department and the Superfriend's Hall of Justice. The new company
will run under Bell Atlantic and will maintain 39 million phone lines,
greater than a quarter of the nation's total phone lines. Bell Atlantic
will have 138,900 employees -- second in size only to AT&T as far as phone
companies go. After this merger, there will be five Baby Bells.

Title: Kids and Computers
Source: Washington Post ( (Weekend p. 33)
Author: WP Reporters
Issue: Children
Description: Special segment of weekend section on kids and computers --
filtering software, good CD-ROMs, appropriate web sites.

Title: Chorus of Boos Greets TV Rating System
Source: Washington Post ( (G2)
Author: Paul Farhi
Issue: V Chip
Description: In the last month, more than 800 organizations have filed
comments with the FCC protesting the current TV rating system. All twenty
six positive comments came from network affiliated stations. Jack Valenti,
who led the development of the rating system, claims that all the protests
are coming from inside the beltway people.

Title: Witnesses Assail NTIA Infrastructure Grants Program
Source: Telecommunications Reports Daily
Issue: Budget Issues
Description: Testifying at a National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) reauthorization hearing, Washington telecom lawyer
Kenneth Robinson identified 14 other programs in President Clinton's 1998
budget that would fund similar projects as NTIA's Telecommunications and
Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP). Former FCC Chief of
Staff Peter Pitsch said, "it appears unlikely that TIIAP can pass a
cost-benefit test." NTIA Administrator Larry Irving answered the criticisms
by arguing that "only the best of the best" proposals are funded. Mr.
Irving is seeking Congress' blessing of TIIAP: "I think it deserves
authorization and I don't want to have an unauthorized program." House
Commerce Chairman Thomas Bliley (R-VA) and House Telecommunication
Subcommittee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) are considering cutting NTIA's