Bell Atlantic Applauds Action by FCC and FTC To Clear the Air on Long Distance Rates

Bell Atlantic Applauds Action by FCC and
To Clear the Air on Long Distance Rates

March 1, 2000


Maureen Flanagan,

BACKGROUND -- The Federal Communications Commission and Federal
Trade Commission today established guidelines to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive advertising and marketing practices of long distance companies.

In January, Bell Atlantic launched its "surprise-free" long distance service in New York, which offers consumers simple, straightforward calling plans with no hidden monthly calling plan fees or minimum usage charges. The following statement can be attributed to Maura Breen, president and chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic
Communications, Inc., the Bell Atlantic organization responsible for providing long distance services to consumers.

Today's move by the FCC and FTC is clearly in the best interest of consumers and echoes Bell Atlantic's own commitment to "surprise-free" long distance.

Customers have repeatedly told us they're extremely confused by the gimmicks and slick promotions for long distance services that promise a bargain but end up costing a bundle. With Bell Atlantic's long distance
plans, what you see is what you get -- literally.

Our ads clearly state the per-minute rate for long distance calls with no fine print and no strings attached. And we've eliminated monthly calling plan fees and restrictions on our most marketed plans. Consumers who
request calling plans that have a monthly fee are told up front what they can expect to pay.

We've been delighted with customer response to our long distance offering. We believe one reason customers are switching to Bell Atlantic
is because they trust us. We will continue to work hard to earn that trust every day.