Bell Atlantic to Begin Issuing Telephone Numbers With New 646 Area Code in Manhattan

Bell Atlantic to Begin Issuing Telephone
With New 646 Area Code in Manhattan

New Area Code Joins 212 and 917 on July 1

June 10, 1999


John Bonomo,

NEW YORK -- Beginning July 1, Bell Atlantic will start issuing
telephone numbers with the new 646 area code to Manhattan customers
who request new telephone service, add a phone line, or, in some cases,
move their service. The new code is needed to make more phone numbers
available in Manhattan.

Current Manhattan customers with the 212 and 917 area codes will keep
their same area code and telephone numbers. While some new Manhattan
residential and business customers will receive the new 646 area code,
others may be assigned a telephone number with the 212 or 917 area code,
depending on availability of numbers.

The New York State Public Service Commission ordered the new 646 area
code to be added to Manhattan's current 212 and 917 area codes in April
of last year.

Calls between New York City's 212, 646, 917 and 718 area codes will
continue to be billed as local calls. Calls to 911 emergency service and
411 directory assistance service remain as usual.

Customers with the 212 area code will continue to dial only seven digits to
reach another Manhattan customer within the 212 area code. Similarly,
calls from a customer with a 646 number to another customer with a 646
number will be dialed with seven digits.

To call between any of the New York City area codes, customers will
continue to dial "1" plus the area code, plus the standard
seven-digit number, just as in calling another area code across the country.

"It's important for all customers to begin to think of their telephone
number as a 10-digit number when providing it to family and
friends," said John Rollo, Bell Atlantic executive director for
Community Affairs. "The good news is that no current customers
have to change their telephone number when this new area code is

This month, Bell Atlantic is beginning a customer education campaign to
familiarize callers with the new 646 area code. The campaign will include
notices in June phone bills; advertising; a 24-hour, toll-free information
line (1-800-322-3558); programs for community groups; community
newsletters, and more. Much of the communications will be multi-lingual
and accessible by TTY for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

In addition, the company's Web site, www.BellAtlantic.com/areacode, has
a full description of area code changes throughout Bell Atlantic's Maine-
to-Virginia service area.

Customers who use modems, fax machines, automatic dialers and other
telecommunications equipment will need to program any such equipment
to reach a customer in the new 646 area code.

The demand for new telephone numbers is exploding as people are
communicating more than ever using additional phone lines, cellular
phones, pagers, computer modems and fax machines. In addition, dozens
of other communications companies offer local phone service, and these
competing companies require phone numbers for their customers.

The 212 area code was introduced in 1945 and served all of New York
City for 40 years. The 718 area code was introduced in 1985 replacing the
212 area code in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. In 1993, the Bronx
also changed from the 212 to the 718 area code. The 917 area code was
introduced in all five boroughs of New York City in 1992 and was used
initially for phone numbers for cellular and paging services. It now also is
used for basic phone service in Manhattan as well.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine
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 countries.