Bell Atlantic Awards Seaville, N.J., Resident With Company's Highest Honor

Bell Atlantic Awards Seaville, N.J., Resident With Company's Highest Honor

Stephen Dechen Recognized for Outstanding Customer Service

March 30, 1998

Media contact:

Sharon Beadle,

NEW YORK -- Stephen Dechen, of Seaville, N.J., has been awarded the
company's highest employee honor, the Leaders in Excellence Award.

Dechen, Bell Atlantic construction line foreman, earned the award for
designing a special bracket that not only gives Bell Atlantic
technicians safer and easier access to cable terminal boxes on
utility poles, but also saves the company money and minimizes
maintenance. A Bell Atlantic patent is now pending for this device.

The Bell Atlantic Leaders in Excellence Award will be presented each
year to individual employees and employee teams who have demonstrated
a devotion to quality, along with a commitment to customers or an
outstanding dedication to community service.

Dechen is one of seven individuals and 18 employee teams who will be
honored tomorrow at area celebrations hosted by Bell Atlantic's senior
executives. Honorees were selected from more than 2,000 nominees.

"Congratulations to our champions, who have set a new benchmark
against which future accomplishments will be measured," said Bell
Atlantic Vice Chairman Ivan Seidenberg. "Their best-in-class
performance and dedication to excellence is a model for us all."

Dechen recognized that when utility poles are replaced, sometimes the
cable terminal box and the wires connected to it do not reach the new
pole. As a result, a technician would either have to spend four to
five hours replacing an otherwise normally functioning cable terminal
box, or risk damage to the equipment by securing it to the cable
itself rather than to the utility pole.

Dechen's bracket supports the equipment and keeps it upright,
preventing water seepage and the resultant out-of-service conditions.
The bracket also makes access to the equipment easier and safer for
technicians. As a result, Bell Atlantic customers have uninterrupted
service during utility pole replacements, with less chance of a future
outage. In addition, the company's technicians have to spend less
time completing this work and are available for other customer needs.

Note to Editors: Photographs are available upon request.

Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 40.5 million telephone access lines and six 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 21 countries.