Bell Atlantic Makes $4 Million Holiday Gift to Students

Bell Atlantic Makes $4 Million Holiday Gift to Students

Company's New IDEALS Network to Connect D.C. Schools

and Libraries to Internet

December 11, 1997

Media contacts:

Michel Daley


WASHINGTON -- Students in the District's public schools are receiving

the endless learning opportunities provided by the Internet, thanks to

a major commitment from Bell Atlantic.

The company today unveiled its new IDEALS (Information Delivery for

Education at Libraries and Schools) network, a $4 million effort to

wire every Washington, D.C. public school and library to the Internet

and local computer networks.

"Bell Atlantic IDEALS will make advanced computer networks and high

technology commonplace in our public schools and libraries," said

William Freeman, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - Washington.

"Our initiative will work hand-in-hand with other projects, such as

NetDay, to bring technological parity to our educational institutions.

"This project is moving D.C. public schools and libraries out of the

technological dark ages. Principals, teachers, students and

librarians are receiving a critical tool needed to succeed in the 21st


Bell Atlantic is installing high-capacity circuits, Integrated Services

Digital Network (ISDN) lines and Switched Multimegabit Data Service

(SMDS) to provide fast, high-bandwidth voice and data communications to

D.C. schools and libraries.

Dynamic Concepts, Inc. and Symbiont, Inc., two District-based

certified minority firms, are assisting Bell Atlantic as

subcontractors on the project. The group has wired more than 50

schools since September, and expects to complete the job by July,


"Nothing can do more to enhance school reform and nurture the academic

hopes and dreams of our children than extensive access to the latest

technology," said D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, Jr. "We are very grateful

to William Freeman and Bell Atlantic for their visionary leadership in

developing and implementing the Bell Atlantic IDEALS program."

In 1996, Bell Atlantic contributed an initial $1 million for the

program to the Telecommunications Infrastructure Assistance Fund.

This fund was established in connection with a D.C. Public Service

Commission (PSC) order that allowed the company to be regulated more

competitively. The company added another million-dollar installment

in January, 1997 and will donate an additional $1 million in each of

the next two years. Money for the wiring is distributed from the

fund, which is managed by a board of directors consisting of

representatives from the PSC, the Library Board, the D.C. Public

School System, the Office of the Mayor and Bell Atlantic - Washington.

The money is earmarked to wire all 150 D.C. public schools and 27

public libraries. Half of the money will be used for network

investment; the remaining 50 percent will be used for computers,

training and technical support.

"These types of public-private partnerships can truly help children

improve their performance and help our school system become a model for

the nation," Freeman said. "Throughout our history we have helped our

community, but this effort is a wonderful way to do something that will

have a meaningful impact for years to come."

The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and

NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications, information and

entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and

5.8 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 21 countries.