Bell Atlantic Extends Popular 'e-Values' Long Distance Plan Nationwide

Bell Atlantic Extends Popular 'e-Values' Long Distance Plan Nationwide

Customers in 33 States Can Sign Up for e-Values Via the Internet for In-State, State-to-State and International Calling

March 29, 2000


Eric Rabe,

Maureen Flanagan,

NEW YORK - Millions of consumers across the country can take advantage of the same benefits New Yorkers enjoy with Bell Atlantic's® e-Valuessm Calling Plan - a popular long distance plan that offers terrific rates and no monthly calling plan fees.

E-Values is available to consumers in 33 states who sign up at the Bell Atlantic long distance Web site, www.callbell.com. With e-Values, customers pay only five cents a minute on weekends and nine cents a minute during the week for state-to-state direct-dialed calls. Rates for in-state long distance calls vary by state.

With great rates and no monthly calling plan fees, e-Values can offer some customers dramatic savings on state-to-state calls compared to heavily advertised plans offered by major long distance companies.

Bell Atlantic - the first regional Bell company allowed to provide long distance service inside its region -- launched e-Values to much acclaim in New York in January. Since then, hundreds of consumers from as far away as Texas and California have expressed interest in signing up.

"E-Values has been a big hit with our customers in New York," said Maura Breen, president and chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic Communications, Inc., the business unit that provides residential long distance service. "Customers have responded enthusiastically to the competitive rates and convenience of e-Values."

Bell Atlantic is bringing this innovative long distance calling plan to customers in every state outside its Northeast and Mid-Atlantic service area except Georgia and Alaska. The company is currently seeking approval to offer long distance service in Georgia. In addition, e-Values will become available in Oklahoma, Nevada and South Dakota by June.

"E-Values is an attractive option to many customers, especially those who prefer doing business online," said Breen.

Nationwide, e-commerce traffic rose 45 percent in 1999 and almost three times as many consumers shopped online this past holiday season over 1998.

Other Options Offer Simplicity and Value

Bell Atlantic is encouraging consumers to sign up via the Internet because e-Values offers a quick and easy way to take advantage of some of Bell Atlantic's best state-to-state long distance rates.

The company also is offering out-of-region customers two other ways to get great long distance rates.

The Bell Atlantic® TimelesssmCalling Plan is 10 cents a minute - all day, every day -- for direct-dialed state-to-state long distance calls. In-state long distance rates may vary. With Timeless, customers pay no monthly calling plan fees and there are no minimum usage requirements.

For some customers, state-to-state calls with the Timeless plan can cost from one-third to one-half less than heavily advertised plans offered by major long distance companies.

The Bell Atlantic®Best Timessm Calling Plan is aimed at consumers who spend more than $35 a month on long distance. Under Best Times, consumers pay five cents a minute during off-peak calling hours for state-to-state long distance calls (5 p.m. to 8 a.m. and weekends) and 10 cents a minute during peak calling hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). In-state rates may vary. A monthly rate of $5.95 also applies.

Bell Atlantic's off-peak calling starts at 5 p.m., not 7 p.m. like some major long distance carriers' comparable plans, so customers get a better deal during one of the heaviest calling times of the day.

Each of Bell Atlantic's calling plans includes a 35 cent-a-minute rate for state-to-state customer-dialed calling card calls. In-state rates may vary. Calling card calls that do not require operator assistance have no service charges.

"Our major long distance competitors' calling card rates can be as high as 69 cents a minute and include a surcharge of up to $1.25 per call," said Breen. "Once again, Bell Atlantic comes through with simplicity and value."

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 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.