April 23, 1997
Bell Atlantic and NYNEX Create Telecommunications Hub at
Presidents' Summit, Donate $1.6 Million to Keep Delegates and 'Virtual Delegates'
WASHINGTON -- Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL) and NYNEX (NYSE: NYN) are playing
a major role in next week's Presidents' Summit for America's Future by providing
$1.6 million in communications products and services, training, and direct support
The announcement was made today at a press briefing with General Chairman
of the Summit, Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.), NYNEX President Don Reed, and Vice President
of Bell Atlantic Corporate Communications Patrick Coulter. As part of this donation,
each of the companies' foundations presented Powell with checks for $300,000.
In addition to the checks presented to Powell today, the companies together
are donating an additional $1 million in products and services, including the development
and continuing operation of a web site, Internet training for delegates, cellular
phones, cellular airtime, pagers and laptop computers.
The two companies are the primary providers of telecommunications services
and equipment to the summit.
"Through their joint generosity, Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have made an
extraordinary and exemplary contribution to the success of the summit and to the
successful implementation of the summit's goals over the next four years," said
Gen. Powell. "The companies' gifts to us -- in cash, in kind, and in services
-- will not only enable our summit participants to communicate clearly with each
other and with concerned citizens around the country, they will enable us to reach
out more widely and effectively to the public we want to reach most -- the kids who
need our help."
The summit, which takes place in Philadelphia April 27-29, kicks off a national
campaign to renew the spirit of volunteerism, especially targeting America's youth.
"We are finding new ways to enable our companies and employees to give
back to the communities we serve, and we're beginning by creating for the summit
the best communications infrastructure available today," said Reed. "Our
cellular unit, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile, and the Internet Solutions group have
made a tremendous commitment to support the technological needs of the summit."
At the center of the Bell Atlantic and NYNEX communications initiative is
an interactive web site -- www.americaspromise.org. The site creates "digital
neighborhoods" enabling people to share problems and solutions across town or
across the country.
"Bell Atlantic and NYNEX are committed to maintaining and developing
this site to bring together individuals and companies with organizations that provide
critical services to kids who need help," said Coulter. "The Internet technologies
launched this week will enable delegates to receive input and share ideas long after
they've returned home."
Wireless to Play Unique Role
Trained volunteers will work with summit delegates to draw up community action
plans on 196 laptop computers, distributed by Bell Atlantic and NYNEX. Of these,
40 are equipped with a wireless modem. Action plans will be sent through the modems
to the summit web site. Delegates and anyone with an Internet connection can review
and comment on these plans, including people who are watching the summit from back
The companies are also providing 90 cellular phones, 70 of them digital, with
four-line displays that can receive text messages. This feature enables summit staff
to communicate with delegates quickly and efficiently. Cellular airtime is also being
donated by the companies. Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile has installed a microcell inside
the convention center that will handle all of the summit's wireless communications
Voice services are being provided through a Bell Atlantic Centrex system that
includes 500 telephone lines at the convention center and 300 lines at Philadelphia's
The companies have built a state-of-the-art data network that connects PCs
located throughout the Pennsylvania Convention Center with the Internet. In addition,
the companies are providing easy access to summit information and the Internet with
PCs located at 12 kiosks around the hall, and in the Internet Resource Center, where
there are 25 computers. At the Internet Resource Center Bell Atlantic and NYNEX are
sponsoring Internet training provided by HandsNet, a leader in the area of instructing
not-for-profit organizations on the Internet and PC applications.
The companies are also sponsoring the summit participation of 14 not-for-
profit agencies that, with Bell Atlantic and NYNEX funding, have developed leading-edge,
Internet-based communication and information systems. The companies have invited
these groups to Philadelphia to share what they've learned with summit attendees.
Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have announced plans to merge, pending regulatory
approvals. The combined corporation will serve 39 million telephone access lines
in 13 states and more than four million cellular customers. Shareowners of both companies
overwhelmingly approved the merger at special meetings in November 1996.
NOTE TO EDITORS: A separate
news release issued today by Bell Atlantic and NYNEX describes the companies'
long-term commitment to the Presidents' Summit. Photos of today's press briefing
will be posted on Bell Atlantic's Internet web site with this news release and will
be available from PR Newswire after 4:00 p.m. EDT today. For more information about
the companies' involvement in the summit, please visit the summit web site at HREF="http://www.americaspromise.org">www.americaspromise.org.