P.M. BRIEFING : Pay Phones on GSA Land Still Bell’s

<i> From Times wire services </i>

More than 3,500 public pay telephones located on federal government property controlled by the General Services Administration will remain under license to local Bell companies and American Telephone & Telegraph Co., the GSA said today.

Richard G. Austin, acting GSA administrator, said the decision is preliminary until GSA conducts a further analysis about licensing a pay phone company. He said the GSA’s decision will not prevent the agency from selecting a long-distance carrier other than AT&T; or pay phone companies other than the Bell companies at a future date.

GSA’s decision was in response to an order in October by U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene under which the owners of premises where Bell pay phones are located must decide by April 1 which long-distance carriers to use. If they don’t make a choice, they will be assigned to a long-distance carrier by lottery.