will be frustrated if the interexchange carriers must undertake such cost-benefit analyses.
Indeed, such cost-benefit analysis by the interexchange carriers in deciding whether, where, when, and how to offer various sorts of interexchange service is precisely what is contemplated by the decree. As the Court indicated when it rejected the argument that the Plan of Reorganization should be amended to provide that 800 Service directory assistance should be assigned to the Operating Companies (thereby affording the interexchange carriers access to this information), it is not the purpose of the decree either to punish AT & T or to compensate for the interexchange carriers' economic and technological deficiencies of the interexchange carriers by granting them free access to AT & T technology, equipment, and information.
The theory of the decree is that equal access will permit various interexchange carriers to compete as they choose in the interexchange markets by developing their own technology and marketing strategy, with the public benefitting from the resulting technological innovation and choice of services. The purpose of the decree in this regard is thus a limited one: to remove barriers to entry and to create a truly competitive environment for interexchange services. It is not the artificial creation of competition by enabling the interexchange carriers to share AT & T's interexchange capabilities and facilities to which they are not otherwise entitled. If the interexchange carriers wish to fulfill the decree's promise of flourishing interexchange competition, it will be up to them to make the necessary financial investments and to develop the appropriate technology.
In any event, the database plan proposed by the Department of Justice constitutes a problematic alternative. To begin with, as noted above, that plan may itself be in some conflict with the decree by permitting the Operating Companies to provide interexchange services.
The Department's proposal is also flawed on broader grounds. Given the present capabilities of the Operating Companies and of the AT & T CCIS system, it appears that, at least initially, only three interexchange carriers in addition to AT & T could provide 800 Service using that system.
Thus, at least in the short run, that proposal will hardly provide equal access in the sense that all interexchange carriers will be able to compete on an equal basis with AT & T.
Moreover, even if the system could be modified to accommodate more interexchange carriers, as the Department and the Operating Companies contend, the necessity for such modifications raises significant problems of timing and enforcement. If, as is asserted, the Operating Companies are able to develop their own database systems within two years,
thereby at that point mooting the entire 800 Service controversy, it makes little practical sense to require the adoption of a plan which by any measure cannot itself be fully implemented until shortly before the time when it will become irrelevant. The Operating Companies believe that the modifications necessary for implementation of the Department of Justice plan could be made within a year (Bell Operating Companies' Reply at 26 n.14), while AT & T contends that such modifications would take considerably longer. (AT & T Opposition, Ohnsorg Affidavit at 2.)
Either way, the current problem is clearly only an interim one.
The relatively short time period during which the database plan would be operational also raises significant problems of enforcement: inasmuch as the necessary modifications of the equipment and the software to provide access to the CCIS system to entities other than AT & T would be under AT & T's control, the question whether these modifications were being implemented as rapidly and as effectively as possible would necessarily be largely subjective.
Given that fundamental fact, it would be difficult for the interested parties to raise, and for the Court to decide, motions to compel compliance sufficiently quickly for the entire process to be of significant practical value.
In sum, numerous considerations of policy and practicality militate against granting the Department's motion with respect to the use by the Operating Companies of AT & T's CCIS facilities, and that portion of the government's motion is accordingly denied.
As the foregoing discussion indicates, the asserted ability of the Operating Companies to deploy their own database system within a relatively brief period of time constitutes a factor in the Court's decision to deny the major portion of the Department's motion. The Operating Companies claim that to enable them to effect such deployment in the most effective manner, AT & T should be required to furnish them the existing 800 database source codes and related documentation and, temporarily, with "seed personnel."
Under the Plan of Reorganization, the Operating Companies are given the rights to "obtain from Western Electric CCIS, STP and NCP hardware and software, including 'know how' and existing applications software associated with related operations systems, for the provision of any services they are authorized to provide under the Decree."
This provision does not, in terms or in purpose, require AT & T to provide the Operating Companies with existing source codes and related documentation for its CCIS 800 database system. Moreover, as far as an amendment of the Plan to require AT & T to provide the Operating Companies with such information is concerned, it would be inappropriate for the reasons elaborated above. The Operating Companies are entitled under the Plan to obtain from AT & T the hardware, software, and know-how necessary to develop their own database systems; they are not entitled to replicate AT & T's existing system by simple use of AT &T's database.
What the Plan envisions is that the Operating Companies, once provided with the necessary equipment and know-how, will develop their own database system -- a system which may be similar to AT & T's or which may be different. This approach is not only consistent with the language of the Plan; it is also consistent with the decree's goal of establishing the Operating Companies as entities that are truly independent of AT & T.
Accordingly, the motion is denied with respect to the provision of source codes and related documentation.
However, AT & T shall furnish to the Operating Companies, upon their request, the hardware, software, and know-how necessary for the development of their own database system and, if the Operating Companies experience problems in that regard they, or others, may return to the Court for appropriate relief.
Finally, as noted, the Operating Companies also request the assignment of AT & T "seed personnel." Under the terms of the Plan provision cited above, AT & T is obligated to provide the Operating Companies with the know-how required to develop their own databases. Most of this know-how will presumably consist of technical papers and other training materials, but it is conceivable that some of this information can effectively be made available only by means of the temporary assignment of "seed personnel." However, it would be inappropriate to order the temporary assignment of such personnel absent a motion based upon a clear showing that the assignment is necessary to effectuate the terms of the Plan. No such motion has been filed and no such showing has been made, and the Operating Companies' request is therefore denied.