MCI Responds To New Accusations

Under the "Canadian Gateway Project," the name for the alleged practice given by the source that reported the situation to the federal government, the MCI traffic, upon re-entering the United States, was allegedly terminated on the networks of other service providers, such as AT&T and Verizon, which in turn had to pay the access charges.

As a result of the claims, Bedminster, N.J.-based AT&T has filed a complaint with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

"The 'Canadian Gateway Project' is a scheme by which Debtors (MCI/WorldCom, et al) knowingly, intentionally and recklessly shifted to AT&T the cost of terminating Debtors' customers' calls to areas of the United States with especially high access charges for terminating calls. Debtors were aware that AT&T tariffs and contracts did not permit the subscription directly to AT&T service for the purpose of dumping high-cost traffic upon AT&T," the filing said.

Capellas said Ashburn, Va.-based MCI is cooperating fully with the investigation and has a zero-tolerance policy in place for wrongdoing at the company.

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"Today the company met with the U.S. Attorney's Office to gain an understanding of the nature of their inquiry," Capellas said. "We committed to them our full cooperation in their efforts. We also are conducting our own internal analysis and are working vigorously to gather data so that we can provide the most complete set of facts.

"As I have said all along, we will do the right thing," he said. "We have a zero-tolerance policy, and if any wrongdoing is discovered, you can be certain that we will take appropriate action swiftly."