Phone Companies Seek Bids on Upgrades

From Bloomberg News

Verizon Communications Inc., SBC Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp., the three largest U.S. local-telephone carriers, said they’re seeking proposals from equipment makers to replace older copper phone wires with high-speed fiber-optic lines for selling high-speed services.

New York-based Verizon, the largest local-phone company, BellSouth and SBC also agreed to common technical standards to make it easier for phone-equipment makers to install the optical lines to homes and businesses.

Shares of Verizon fell 24 cents to $37.04. Atlanta-based BellSouth shares fell 36 cents to $26.25. Shares of SBC, based in San Antonio, dropped 12 cents to $25.20. All trade on the NYSE.