Bell Atlantic Ready to Introduce New 347 Area Code

Bell Atlantic Ready to Introduce New 347
Area Code

New Area Code to Join 718 to Serve
The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island

September 13, 1999


John Bonomo,

NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic has made the necessary modifications to its
network to begin the introduction of the 347 area code for The Bronx,
Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The new area code will join 718 as
the area codes for the four New York City boroughs on
Oct. 1.

The new 347 area code will be introduced as an "overlay" in
the same geographic area as the 718 code. As a result, current customers
with the 718 area code will keep their same area code and telephone

Customers in the four boroughs who request new telephone service, add a
phone line, or, in some cases, move within the four boroughs may receive
the new 347 area code. In addition, 718 numbers may also be assigned,
depending on availability.

"It's important for all customers to begin now thinking of their
telephone number as a 10-digit number when providing it to family and
friends," said John Rollo, Bell Atlantic executive director for
Community Affairs. "The good news is that no current customers
have to change their telephone number when this new area code is

Calls between New York City's 347, 718, 212, 646 and 917 area codes
will continue to be billed as local calls. Charges for calls to 411 directory
assistance service will remain the same, and 911 emergency calls will
continue to be free.

Customers with the 718 area code will continue to dial only seven digits to
reach another resident or business with the 718 area code. Similarly, calls
from a customer with a 347 number to another customer with a 347
number will be dialed with seven digits.

To call between any of the New York City area codes, including 347 and
718, customers will dial "1" plus the area code, plus the
standard seven-digit number, just as in calling another area code across the

This month, Bell Atlantic is beginning a customer education campaign to
familiarize callers with the new 347 area code. The campaign will include
notices in September phone bills; advertising; a 24-hour, toll-free recorded
information line (1-800-322-3558 in English; 1-800-882-7818 in Spanish,
and 1-800-299-2630 for TTY users); programs for community groups;
community newsletters, and more. Much of the communications will be
multi-lingual and accessible by TTY for people who are deaf or hard of

In addition, the company's Web site, www.BellAtlantic.com/areacode, has
a full description of area code changes throughout Bell Atlantic's Maine-
to-Virginia service area.

Customers who use speed dialing, modems, fax machines, automatic
dialers and other telecommunications equipment will need to program
such equipment to dial "1" plus the area code and the standard
seven-digit number to reach a customer with a 347 area code.

A new area code is needed for the four boroughs because the demand for
new telephone numbers is exploding as people communicate more than
ever using additional phone lines, cellular phones, pagers, computer
modems and fax machines. In addition, dozens of other communications
companies offer local phone service, and these competing companies
require phone numbers for their customers.

In April 1998, the New York State Public Service Commission ordered the
new 347 area code to be added to the 718 area code. The 212 area code
was introduced in 1945 and served all of New York City for 40 years. The
718 area code was introduced in 1985, replacing the 212 area code in
Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. In 1993, The Bronx also changed
from the 212 to the 718 area code. The 917 area code was introduced in
all five boroughs of New York City in 1992 and was used initially for
phone numbers for cellular and paging services. It now also is used for
basic phone service in Manhattan as well. Area code 646 was introduced
this July to serve Manhattan.

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