Bell Atlantic-Delaware President Martin Sees Consumer Benefit from Immediate Choice of Local and Long Distance Carriers

Bell Atlantic-Delaware President Martin Sees Consumer Benefit
from Immediate Choice of Local and Long Distance Carriers

Company Is Now Ready to Compete in All Telecommunications Markets

March 27, 1997

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WILMINGTON, Del. -- Bell Atlantic-Delaware has opened
its local market
to competitors and is now ready to compete against the cozy cartel
that controls the long-distance market, according to HREF="http://www.ba.com/speeches/profiles/martin.html">Joshua W. Martin
III, Bell Atlantic-Delaware president and CEO.

Martin called for immediate and even-handed competition in all
telecommunications markets in an address today to more than 200
business and government leaders at the Wilmington Rotary Club.

"The stage has been set for a full and open competition which will
benefit Delaware and Delawareans," Martin said. "Consumers
these benefits now, which requires that all competitors be allowed
equal, timely access to each others traditional markets...and soon.
When that day comes, Bell Atlantic will continue to deliver for
Delaware, as we have for 100 years.

"The competition genie is out of the bottle, and there's no putting
back. The task now is to assure that this competition is fair - fair
to all carriers and, more important, fair to consumers. That requires
giving consumers an immediate choice of local and long distance

Martin outlined key provisions of the federal Telecommunications Act
of 1996. The act stipulates that local telephone companies, such as
Bell Atlantic-Delaware, can offer long distance service when the local
phone market is open to competition. Local phone companies must comply
with a 14-point checklist and demonstrate that local competition
exists. This can be accomplished either by entering into agreements
with local competitors or by filing a statement of generally accepted
terms and conditions enabling competitors to use local phone networks.

"Bell Atlantic-Delaware is about to qualify on all counts,"
said. "We will soon satisfy the checklist, and we have entered into
agreements with competitors and filed a statement of generally
accepted applicable terms and conditions" to facilitate local phone

Martin said consumer choices will increase and rates will come down
when Bell Atlantic enters the long distance business. "The sooner
markets are opened to true competition, the faster the public will see
the benefits of lower prices and more innovation," he said.
"We are
eager to provide these benefits...and confident of our ability to
compete with any and all comers and to offer better products at
competitive prices."

Martin said Bell Atlantic has "gone to great lengths to give
competitors access to its networks. It's only fair that we get
immediate access to their long distance business."

Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is
at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corp. of New Zealand and is actively developing high-growth
national and international business opportunities in all phases of the