applicable to the region between Washington and Baltimore would not be addressed at all. See note 3 supra.
The Department of Justice's proposal is more accurately tailored to preserve the convenience of customers who, by realistic standards, are part of the Baltimore and Washington communities, without at the same time overriding the basic purposes of the decree. The Department has proposed limitations on C&P's request based upon a geographically based "corridor" concept to include for Metro FX purposes those locations between Washington and Baltimore which have a substantial community of interest among themselves and with both cities.
Unlike the C&P proposal, however, it would not include the cities of Washington and Baltimore themselves, nor would it include towns and communities at a considerable distance from these cities.
Traffic between the two cities clearly represents a competitive market, and if that market were, in effect, reserved to C&P, there would be no principled basis for denying to Operating Companies all over the United States the opportunity to provide inter-LATA service between and among other major cities. Likewise, there is no basis for sanctioning local service between communities which are at a considerable distance from one another and which lack substantial common interests, merely because they all happen to be located in adjoining LATAs.
The Court, accordingly, hereby adopts the Department of Justice approach, with certain exceptions.
What this means is that Metro FX and local calling will be available between Washington or Baltimore and the "corridor" communities in either LATA; subscribers not located within the "corridor," will for local calling purposes be restricted to their own LATAs just as are other subscribers everywhere in the United States; and traffic between the cities of Baltimore and Washington will likewise be handled on an interexchange basis.
This approach promotes adherence to the principles of the decree in two ways: it allows a local Operating Company to service the subscribers in a homogeneous community while reserving competitive and potentially competitive long distance service to the interexchange carriers.
The precise effects of the Court's ruling on the C&P petition are described in the Appendix hereto.
C&P has also requested permission to provide Loudon County in Virginia with FX service. Loudon County is a part of the Washington standard metropolitan statistical area (SMSA), but because of an apparent misunderstanding between C&P and Loudon County, C&P initially asked that the county be included in the Culpeper LATA, with only limited local service to the Washington LATA.
Loudon County has indicated a preference either to have the Culpeper LATA dismantled and reconfigured into the Washington and Richmond LATAs, or to have the Washington LATA redrawn to include that county. Instead of either of these alternatives, the Court will adopt C&P's proposal to keep Loudon County in the Culpeper LATA, and to provide it with Metro FX service into the Washington. This solution will essentially give to the Loudon County residents the relief they seek, but it is less drastic than the dismantling and reconfiguration of the Culpeper LATA, and less expensive than the placement of Loudon County in the Washington LATA at this late date.
This will also preserve the benefits of the original decision to include Loudon County in the Culpeper LATA.
Western Reserve is an independent operating company which is part of the "wide moat of independent telephone territory entirely encircling Cleveland" and separating Cleveland from the Akron-Canton LATA. United States v. Western Electric Co., supra, 569 F. Supp. at 1037. Among the exchanges Western Reserve serves are the Hudson and Northfield exchanges.
The Hudson exchange is associated with the Akron-Canton LATA, while the Northfield exchange, immediately to the north of Hudson, is associated with the Cleveland LATA.
Western Reserve presently provides Hudson and Northfield residents with FCO service.
Ohio Bell participates in the offering of this service by meeting Western Reserve's facilities in Ohio Bell service areas within the Cleveland and Akron-Canton LATAs. On November 3, 1983, Ohio Bell advised Western Reserve that, as of January 1, 1984, it would no longer continue that participation, stating its belief that it is prohibited from doing so by the decree because the service is inter-LATA in nature. Western Reserve's motion requesting relief which would enable it to continue to provide FCO service to Hudson and Northfield customers followed.
The situation of Western Reserve's customers is similar to that of the Maryland subscribers located in the Washington-Baltimore corridor. Hudson and Northfield are located midway between two geographically proximate metropolitan areas, Cleveland and Akron, and they share a substantial community of interest with both. Were Western Reserve and Ohio Bell forced to cease offering FCO service, there would be considerable disruption of customer service. Service which is now being treated as local calling would be converted to toll calling, and additional costs would be imposed on customers who properly consider themselves members of both the Cleveland and Akron communities. In addition, the termination of FCO service would require costly network realignments by both Western Reserve and Ohio Bell.
On the other side of the scale, Western Reserve's request would not affect traffic which has potential for competition, and it would only have a minimal impact in any event. Unlike C&P's proposal with regard to the communities near Washington and Baltimore, the relief Western Reserve requests is narrow and carefully circumscribed.
There is an additional consideration which supports the grant to Western Reserve of the relief it requests. Western Reserve is an independent telephone company, and the Court has always sought to minimize the effects of the divestiture on the Independents. See, e.g., United States v. Western Electric Co., supra, 569 F. Supp. 1057, 1112-13 (D.D.C. 1983); United States v. Western Electric Co., supra, 569 F. Supp. at 1008-10. Indeed, it may well be that, as the Department of Justice has stated, Western Reserve's FCO service is not subject to the decree's prohibitions on the Bell Operating Companies' provision of interexchange service at all.
For purposes of the present motion, it is not necessary to resolve that issue. The Court has granted relief similar to that requested here to Maryland communities in like circumstances; the relief will be limited; and there is an established policy to minimize the effect of the decree on the Independents. In order to resolve any doubts, the Court holds that Western Reserve may continue to provide FCO service to the Hudson and Northfield exchanges, and that Ohio Bell may continue to meet Western Reserve's dedicated facilities within its territories in the Cleveland and Akron-Canton LATAs.
The following exchanges are within the "Baltimore-Washington corridor" and may be provided by C&P with Metro FX service to either the Washington or Baltimore LATA:
Baltimore LATA communities: Washington LATA communities:
Metro FX to Washington Metro FX to Baltimore
Arminger-Gibson Island Bethesda
Brooklyn Park-Linthicum Bowie-Glenn Dale
Columbia Capitol Heights
Ellicott City Gaithersburg
Glen Burnie Hughesville
Millersville Indian Head
New Windsor Kensington
North Beach LaPlata
Prince Frederick Layhill
Severna Park Oxon Hill
Sherwood Forest Poolesville
Sykesville Silver Spring
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