Bell Atlantic Agreements With Competitors Top 1,000; Agreements in Pennsylvania Help Company over Mark

Bell Atlantic Agreements With Competitors
Top 1,000; Agreements in Pennsylvania Help
Company over Mark

Local Phone Market Undeniably Open to Competition

August 25, 1999


Harry Mitchell,

Mark Marchand,

PHILADELPHIA -- Bell Atlantic has more than 1,000
agreements with companies to provide competing local telephone service
in the Bell Atlantic region. And, Bell Atlantic's 118 signed agreements in
Pennsylvania, including recently approved agreements with VITTS
Networks, Inc., SNip Link, LLC and others, helped put the corporation
over this key milestone.

"To those who say the local market isn't open, we have the numbers
to prove otherwise," said James G. Cullen, Bell Atlantic president
and chief operating officer. "Bell Atlantic has stepped up to the
plate and fulfilled its end of the bargain to open our facilities to
competition. Our record speaks for itself. It's time our detractors drop the
rhetoric and start competing."

Bell Atlantic has been working aggressively to fully open local markets
across its service area, which runs from Maine to the Virginias. Under the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, Bell Atlantic is permitted to offer its
customers long distance service once it has demonstrated the local market
is open to all who wish to compete.

Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania has proposed a plan that would give
competitors the benefits of a similar plan in New York, along with several
additional commitments made in its Pennsylvania global settlement
proposal. AT&T and MCI WorldCom are both offering residential local
service under the terms Bell Atlantic proposed in New York.

There are other strong signals of competition in Pennsylvania as well. By
the end of June, the number of minutes of local voice, data and fax calls
passing between Bell Atlantic and competitors in Pennsylvania surpassed
5 billion for the year -- already exceeding the 4.6 billion minutes for all of
1998. Additionally, as of June 1, Bell Atlantic competitors hold more than
7 million telephone numbers in the state, and 147 competitors have
applied to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to offer local

Despite evidence of robust competition in Pennsylvania, competition has
been slower to develop in some parts of the state because some of the
largest, ablest competitors have shied away from the local market.

"Across Pennsylvania and the Bell Atlantic region, the local phone
market is open for business," said Daniel J. Whelan, Bell Atlantic -
Pennsylvania president & CEO. "AT&T and MCI WorldCom are
dragging their feet, stalling the process in a desperate effort to preserve
their lucrative hold on the long-distance market.

"One-thousand agreements with competitors and the long-distance
giants claim the market isn't open? That argument doesn't even pass the
smell test."

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the
new communications and information industry. With more than 43
million telephone access lines and nearly 10 million wireless customers
worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced
wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and
the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic
companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth
global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23