Bell Atlantic Raising Price of Local Pay Phone Call to 35 Cents in Washington

Bell Atlantic Raising Price of Local Pay Phone Call to 35 Cents in Washington

November 12, 1997

Media contacts:

Jim Smith

212 395-7746

212 395-0500

Michel Daley

202 392-1021

WASHINGTON -- The price of a local
call from a Bell Atlantic pay
phone in Washington, D.C. will increase to 35 cents from 25 cents,
the company announced today.

The process of adjusting each Bell Atlantic pay telephone to the new
rate is beginning today and will take a few months to complete.

Under FCC rules written to implement the 1996 Telecommunications Act,
the price of local calls was deregulated on October 7 and since then,
all major independent pay phone providers, as well as GTE, Bell South,
Southwestern Bell and Pacific Telesis have begun raising rates to 35

"At 35 cents, the local call remains one of the best bargains in any
market," said William M. Freeman, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic -
Washington, D.C. "This rate is still below the price of almost
anything a person can buy from a coin operated vending machine." .

"Like any competitive business, we need to respond to market
conditions," said Lorraine Chickering, president-Bell Atlantic Public

"We compete with hundreds of other providers for the sites where
customers need pay phones," Chickering said. "We must pay competitive
commissions to property owners to place our pay phones in their space,
whether they are fast food outlets, gas stations, major airports or
cities responsible for sidewalk phones.

"We also must charge competitive prices to the users of our pay
phones," she said. "The competitive price that is emerging in the
market is 35 cents for a local call."

After studying the telecommunications market, Congress last year
confirmed that pay telephone business is competitive, ordered it
deregulated and required that all direct and indirect subsidies of the
service be eliminated. The goal of Congress was "to promote
competition...and the widespread deployment of pay phone services to
the benefit of the general public," according to the 1996
Telecommunications Act. FCC rules implementing the Act, eliminating
subsidies and deregulating prices took effect in April and October.

Bell Atlantic is also raising the price of a local call to 35 cents
in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New
Jersey, Vermont and New Hampshire. Coin phone price increases will be
considered in other markets as conditions warrant.

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.