Bell Atlantic - Maryland Launches Information Campaign to Get Customers Ready for 10-Digit Local Dialing

Bell Atlantic - Maryland Launches Information Campaign to Get Customers
Ready for 10-Digit Local Dialing

Introduction of Two New Area Codes Leads to Dialing Change

January 17, 1997

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BALTIMORE -- Bell Atlantic is expanding its statewide
education and advertising campaign to inform Marylanders about
10-digit local dialing. Since a whole new way to dial local calls is
coming to Maryland, Bell Atlantic is making sure its customers are
ready for the change.

Since more people than ever before are using fax machines, cellular
phones, pagers, computer modems and other telecommunications devices,
Maryland is running out of phone numbers in the existing area codes.
To create more phone numbers, two new area codes will be introduced in
the same areas as the 301 and 410 codes.

Therefore, area codes will become a part of the local telephone
number, starting May 1. The area code and the seven digit phone
number will make every number dialed a "Ten-number Number size = -2>SM."

"Bell Atlantic has been leading customers through changes in our
industry for years, and we'll be there for Maryland, guiding customers
through this transition," said HREF="http://www.ba.com/speeches/profiles/whelan.html">Daniel J.
Whelan, president and CEO of
Bell Atlantic - Maryland. "The second phase of our public education
and information campaign will help ensure that all Marylanders are
aware of the need for 10-digit dialing for all local calls ."

Bell Atlantic will inform customers through newspaper, radio and
billboard advertising, special messages in customers' bills and
letters to all Maryland business customers. In addition, Bell
Atlantic is giving special attention to senior citizens, children and
others who might need extra help making the transition.

In keeping with its commitment, Bell Atlantic has made available
brochures to all senior information and assistance offices in Maryland
and other organizations serving seniors. The company also is making
speakers available to explain the dialing change and new area codes.

In addition, the company has developed a "Ten-number Number"
interactive coloring book for children that explains the dialing
change in a story format. This teaching tool will help kids build
their own 'Ten-number Number' personal phone directory so they can
contact family members and friends easily. The coloring book will be
distributed to all kindergarten through third-grade classes in March.

Maryland residents also can get more information on the dialing change
by checking the customer guide section of the new Bell Atlantic phone
books, calling Bell Atlantic's toll-free information number
(1-888-427-3223) or visiting Bell Atlantic's new Internet Web site:

The new 443 area code will be working in the same area as the 410
code, and a new 240 area code will be introduced in the same area as
the 301 code. This will happen in late 1997 when phone numbers in the
existing codes are depleted. Since two new area codes will be
introduced within the same boundaries as the existing codes, all local
calls will require 10-digit dialing -- the area code plus the
seven-digit number.

To further assist customers in the transition, Bell Atlantic is urging
everyone to reprogram their fax machines, speed dialers, computer
modems, Private Branch Exchange equipment, burglar alarms and other
communications equipment now to dial the area code and seven-digit
phone number.

Optional phone services like HREF="http://www.bell-atl.com/consumer/speed.htm">Speed Calling and
will need to be programmed for 10-digit dialing, and from now on,
customers always should include their area code when giving out their
telephone number.

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 Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.