Bell Atlantic-New Jersey Kicks Off Campaign to Inform Customers About Area Codes

Bell Atlantic-New Jersey Kicks Off Campaign to Inform Customers About
Area Codes

North and Central Jersey Customers to Learn Whether Their Numbers are in
the New Area Codes

December 16, 1996

Media contacts:

Tim Ireland (201) 649-2279


Related Information:

Area Code Hotline: 1-800-409-8773

(Hours: Mon. - Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Area Code Internet Site:


NEWARK, N.J. - Bell Atlantic today launched a one-year
campaign to
prepare New Jersey residents and businesses for the addition of two
new area codes, 973 and 732.

The campaign will be conducted in print, over the airwaves and in
cyberspace, as the company launches a series of advertisements, bill
inserts and a home page on the World Wide Web to help customers in
North and Central New Jersey make the transition from two area codes
to four.

Starting in June 1997, the 201 area code will be split geographically
and 973 will be added. The 908 area code also will be split, and 732
will become a new area code in Central Jersey.

"Even with the advent of local competition, customers still rely on
one company, Bell Atlantic, to provide them with accurate information
about major telecommunications developments in New Jersey," said HREF="http://www.ba.com/speeches/profiles/lauer.html">Len
J. Lauer, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey. "And
be there for our customers. This campaign will address their
questions and make the transition to the new area codes as smooth as

Ads displaying lists of telephone exchanges included in the two new
area codes will appear tomorrow in newspapers across the state.
Customers may use these lists as guides for determining how area-code
changes will affect them.

Questions about 973 and 732 also may be addressed to Bell Atlantic's
new toll-free area-code hotline, 1-800-409-8773. Information also
will be posted on our area-code web site,

"We want customers to understand that the creation of the new area
codes will not affect telephone rates," said Lauer. "Calls
that are
local today will remain local after the two new area codes are added.
This is an important message in our campaign."

The 973 and 732 area codes are being created to generate the telephone
numbers necessary to help satisfy an unprecedented demand for
telecommunications services. Thousands of customers who once lived in
one-phone homes, now reach the outside world using fax machines, pagers,
cellular telephones and modems.

Moreover, New Jersey is opening its local telephone market to
competition. Other telecommunications companies that plan to enter
New Jersey's local market have been assigned nearly one million
numbers to serve prospective customers.

Callers who want to reach customers in western North Jersey and
eastern Central Jersey may begin dialing the new area codes on June 1,
1997. During a six-month grace period scheduled to run until Dec. 6,
1997, callers may use either the old or the new area code to reach
customers in the 973 and 732 areas.

As of Dec. 6, callers will need to dial the two new area codes to
reach customers in the 973 and 732 areas.

The new codes were assigned by HREF="http://www.bellcore.com">Bellcore, administrator of the North
American Numbering Plan.

Bell Atlantic Corporation (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.