Bell Atlantic Holds Opportunity Fair for Women and Minority-Owned Businesses

Bell Atlantic Holds Opportunity Fair for
Women and Minority-Owned Businesses

Goal to Increase Company's Base of Diversified

November 9, 1999


Paul Miller,
804 772-1460

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Bell Atlantic today held a Network Opportunity
Fair for more than 80 representatives of minority and women-owned
businesses to provide them with an opportunity to establish business
relationships with Bell Atlantic's largest prime suppliers of goods and

At the fair, held at the Quality Hotel and Conference Center here, the
representatives met with their counterparts from 28 companies with which
Bell Atlantic has major business relationships.

The event had two goals: to help the minority and women-owned
businesses make important business connections that could ultimately
boost their bottom line and to help Bell Atlantic achieve a key objective --
increasing its base of diversified suppliers.

"Our prime suppliers have a constant need for qualified
subcontractors, and they are also a critical element in Bell Atlantic's plan
to increase significantly the amount of money we spend with minority and
women-owned businesses," said Jeannie Diefenderfer, vice
president-Corporate Sourcing for Bell Atlantic.

Diversified businesses at the fair that establish business relationships with
Bell Atlantic's prime suppliers would provide goods and services to Bell
Atlantic as subcontractors to those suppliers, Diefenderfer said.

Under an agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Bell
Atlantic is committed to increase its spending with minority and women-owned businesses to a total of $1.88 billion this year and next through
direct purchasing and subcontracting.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and more than 10 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.