The move comes after SBC watched its third-quarterslip 5 percent over year-ago figures.
"The biggest change with the new standardization is customers will be able to look to other markets served by SBC regions and have one point of contact, the same services, the same prices and the same features," said Jason Hillery, an SBC spokesman. "So a company with headquarters in Dallas, for example, will be able to pay the same price for the same service in Chicago."
SBC's nationwide services now include alternate routing and disaster recovery, as well as standardized frame relay, ATM and private line services. But only customers in SBC regions that have received regulatory approval for long-distance service will be able to access these services.
SBC anticipates receiving regulatory approval by the end of this year for long-distance service in California, with approvals in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin expected later next year.
And in preparation for these approvals, SBC plans to compete the nationwide expansion of its data and IP network backbones by next year.
"The national phase of the IP backbone should be done by the end of 2003, and then we'll be able to serve the nation's 50 largest cities," Hillery said. "It's an opportunity to turn SBC from a local and regional player into a national player."