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HARRISBURG - In a ruling that opens the door for competitors to undercut Bell Atlantic Corp.'s local calling rates, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has set the wholesale discount rate at which Philadelphia-based Bell Atlantic must sell its calling services to companies that want to resell those services to the public.
The rate, which will supersede all interim agreements Bell Atlantic reached with its competitors, is considerably lower than the rate the company wanted, but higher than the rates its competitors had requested.
"This will establish the permanent wholesale rate ... for anybody that wants to come in and resell Bell's services," said Jim Ginty, a vice president in AT&T Corp.'s Philadelphia office.
The PUC decision was preliminary and will be finalized Jan. 17. PUC spokesman John Frazier said the commission rarely changes its …