Pacific Bell, the predominant local phone company in California, filed documents with regulators in the Golden State late Wednesday seeking approval to enter the long-distance voice market. As a regulated monopoly, the Baby Bell local phone company is forbidden from offering long-distance services until it can prove it has sufficiently opened its networks to competitors.
Pacific Bell, a unit of SBC Communications, has sought California approval for three years. The company hopes to get the nod this summer, then seek approval with the Federal Communications Commission in the fall with the plan of offering long-distance voice services in California by the end of the year, a spokesman said. SBC already has gained similar approvals in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.