Bell Atlantic Sponsors Free Internet Learning Day for Area Residents and Small Business Owners

Bell Atlantic Sponsors Free Internet Learning Day for Area Residents and Small Business Owners

Internet Guide Introduced in 440,000 Bell Atlantic
Yellow Pages in Washington, D.C.

May 1, 1998

Media contact:

Stephanie Hobbs,

WASHINGTON - Bell Atlantic will bring the Internet to area residents and small businesses in a free Internet Learning Day tomorrow at Howard University. The event coincides with the introduction of the Internet Guide bound inside the 1998-1999 Washington, D.C., Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages, which are currently being delivered. The Internet Guide is a step-by-step primer designed for novice Internet users.

The Internet Learning Day initiative, supported by local community organizations, is offered to residents and small businesses who may not have access to Internet training. The Washington, D.C., event is the fourth in an ongoing series across the Bell Atlantic region that started in late 1997 at the University of Maryland. The program also includes a Web marketing session, which is customized for small businesses exploring cost-effective ways to market their company, products or services on the World Wide Web.

"The Internet Guide and the Internet Learning Day series are targeted at the 35 percent of the adult population without access to learning about the Internet," said Kathy Koelle, vice president of sales at Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages. "We are expanding the scope of the Internet Learning Day series to reach approximately 70 percent of local small businesses that have not taken advantage of marketing and advertising opportunities on the Web."

Saturday's event-expected to attract nearly 200 participants-is co-sponsored by the Howard University School of Business and a number of community-based organizations.

Co-sponsors, including the Academy of Hope, Center City Community Corporation, the Cardozo Shaw Neighborhood Association, the United Black Fund and the Small Business Development Center at Howard University, are participating in the Internet Learning Day by promoting membership attendance. According to representatives of these community organizations, there is a lack of available Internet education for adults of all ages and socio-economic levels, as well as for businesses seeking to market on the Internet.

"The Internet is becoming a commodity in the work force, so for our members becoming more knowledgeable about the Internet also means becoming more marketable in the work force," said Wilheminia Rolark, president of the United Black Fund. "Activities such as this free Internet learning experience and the availability of Bell Atlantic's Yellow Pages Internet Guide are a good first step."

Participants in the beginner's sessions of the program receive information on places where they can access the Internet for free, ways to acquire a personal computer at a discounted cost, as well as participate in a drawing for a personal computer donated by Bell Atlantic Directory Services. Small business members participating in the Web marketing session receive information about online marketing techniques and are a part of a drawing for a free Web Site designed by Bell Atlantic's BigYellowSM, the nation's leading online shopping directory.

Delivery of the Bell Atlantic 440,000 Yellow Pages and 450,000 White Pages- featuring a cover illustration of the Meridian Hill Park-will be completed in the next three weeks. The new Yellow Pages also include InfoSCENE®, a visitors' guide that showcases area attractions, entertainment and dining. The visitors' guide contains color photographs and maps, along with a listed telephone number to access up-to-the-minute information on menus, schedules and shows through a voice-response service. Also included is enhanced InfoTips®, a service that enables users to obtain recorded consumer information on various topics ranging from bicycles to tax preparation.

The advertiser-supported Internet Guide is an eight-page tabbed insert that contains information on hardware and software requirements, a glossary, a step-by-step approach for connecting to the World Wide Web, tips on choosing an Internet service provider and a list of recommended Web Sites. The guide has a corresponding Web Site (www.iosg.com) for additional information.
Bell Atlantic is the world's largest publisher of Yellow Pages shopping directories.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications, information and entertainment industry. With 41 million telephone access lines and 6.7 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 22 countries.