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Thus Bell Atlantic was free of AT&T; the company served the northern Atlantic states and oversaw seven telephone subsidiaries. AT&T as a tough competitor rather than a parent company proved an immediate and ever-present challenge for Bell Atlantic. On January 2, 1984, Federal Justice Harold Greene ordered Bell Atlantic to transfer a $30 million contract with the federal government to AT&T, ruling that AT&T was granted the contract pre-divestiture. Bell Atlantic claimed that many terms of the contract--which included the sale of 200,000 telephones, a year-long maintenance contract worth $6 million involving approximately 275 employees--were made directly with Bell Atlantic, not AT&T. Bell Atlantic argued, also unsuccessfully, that the transfer of employees would give AT&T knowledge of Bell Atlantic's advanced voice and data communications Centrex system, so that AT&T could conceivably design and market a system to underprice Bell Atlantic.
In April 1984 Bell Atlantic went to court over the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) delay in charging tariffs for customers accessing the local network. Delaying implementation of the access fee not only violated the consent decree, Bell Atlantic charged, but it also caused Bell Atlantic and its sibling RHCs to cover some of AT&T's service costs in the interim. To make matters worse, because Bell Atlantic was the lowest-cost provider of all the RHCs, it was losing the most money. (The FCC system was one of allocation, with access-fee funds collected first, then distributed to RHCs based on the company's cost.) Bell Atlantic planned to succeed in spite of the access fee tangle and subsequently allotted more than half of its construction budget for improvement of the network. Bell Atlantic became the first RHC to employ the use of digital termination systems, a microwave technology for local electronic message distribution. The company experimented with a local area data transport system, and planned to install 50,000 miles of optical fiber within a year. (Source: www.fundinguniverse.com)