Bell Atlantic Earns High Marks in Test of Local Competition Systems in New York

Bell Atlantic Earns High Marks in Test of
Local Competition Systems in New York

Final Stages of NY Long Distance Review Underway;
Over Half of All Identified Exceptions Resolved, Bell
Atlantic Reports

April 21, 1999


Mark Marchand,

Shannon Fioravanti,

NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic has earned high marks from an independent
test conducted on systems used to support local competition in New York,
according to a draft report issued today.

Release of the draft report launches the final stages of the New York
Public Service Commission's (PSC) review of Bell Atlantic's plans to sell
long distance service to New Yorkers.

"We have met the requirements of the Telecom Act and the local
market in New York is open," said James G. Cullen, Bell Atlantic
president and chief operating officer. "We're well on our way to
delivering what customers have been demanding for years: full
competition for long distance service, real competitive choice and one-stop
shopping for all their telecommunications needs."

In a test that KPMG said was "much broader than that likely to be
experienced by any single Competitive Local Exchange Provider
(CLEC)," the firm set up a mock CLEC and examined over 900
performance criteria. The criteria covered thousands of individual test
items involving Bell Atlantic's Operating Support Systems (OSS). This
year-long test generated only 49 areas of concern, which KPMG noted as
"exceptions." For example, KPMG tested over 2,000 billing
transactions and found an error rate of less than one percent.

"This has been a thorough and comprehensive review," Cullen
added. "Irrespective of the few remaining exceptions, competitors
today can and are relying on our systems to offer local telephone service in
New York. Recent news reports about AT&T entering the local market
here only underscore that fact."

Cullen said more than half of the 49 exceptions have already been
resolved. Work on the remaining exceptions is underway. Cullen said
that as a result of improvements made during the testing, Bell Atlantic
OSS is the most sophisticated in the nation.

Beginning May 10, the NY PSC will conduct technical conferences to
complete its review of Bell Atlantic's plans to compete in the long distance
market in New York. Following completion of the New York review, Bell
Atlantic will file its formal long distance application with the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC).

In April 1998, Bell Atlantic agreed to a set of groundbreaking
commitments to further open its local markets to competition. These
commitments supplement the agreement Bell Atlantic made with the FCC
surrounding the merger with NYNEX, which afforded competitors
unprecedented access to local markets in its region.

Cullen said that in its draft report today, KPMG found that Bell Atlantic
had made "notable improvements" in its systems over the past

"The considerable time and effort Bell Atlantic invested in
improving our OSS through this rigorous process will not only pay
dividends in New York, but across the region as we move forward with
filing to offer long distance service in other states," said Cullen.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 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.