SBC Communications Inc., which owns Southwestern Bell and Pacific Bell, has withdrawn from a key portion of a lawsuit that continues to threaten the eRate. SBC's withdrawal follows on the heels of a similar withdrawal by BellSouth Corp. of Atlanta and leaves GTE Communications Corp. as the sole complainant in the case.

The lawsuit challenges the FCC's formula for setting payments that local phone companies get from long-distance companies to support the agency's universal service programs, including the eRate. In November, the companies argued before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans

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