Bell Atlantic - Virginia, MCI Agree to Connect Networks


Bell Atlantic's First Comprehensive Pact with Major Long
Distance Carrier

June 23, 1997

Media contacts:

Paul Miller



ARLINGTON, Va. -- Bell Atlantic-Virginia and the local service
affiliate of long distance giant MCI announced today they will connect
their networks in the state. It marks the first comprehensive
interconnection and resale agreement between one of the Bell Atlantic
companies and a major long distance company under Section 251 of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996.

The seven Bell Atlantic operating companies have now reached 58
comprehensive interconnection agreements with 18 competing local
exchange companies.

"This is the largest carrier to date that we have signed an
interconnection agreement with," said Hugh Stallard, president and CEO
of Bell Atlantic-Virginia. "We now look forward to the day when we can
compete with MCI on all fronts, including long distance."

Bell Atlantic cannot offer long distance in its service area until it
complies with a 14-point checklist prescribed by the
Telecommunications Act. Stallard applauded the agreement with MCI as
being a major milestone in meeting the spirit and intent of the act.

In addition to MCI, Bell Atlantic-Virginia has interconnection
agreements with 14 carriers, including two of the largest cable TV
providers in the state, Cox Fibernet and Jones Telecommunications of

The company also has forged agreements with: ACSI, Alternet of
Virginia, C-TEC (on behalf of Commonwealth Long Distance and
Residential Communications Network), CFW Network, Hyperion, Intermedia
Communications, KMC Telecom of Virginia, MFS Intelenet, NAS, R&B

Network, Teleport Communications Group and WinStar.

Under the terms of today's agreement, which will be effective when
approved by Virginia's State Corporation Commission, MCI will be able
to connect its facilities with portions of Bell Atlantic's network to
provide local exchange telephone services in competition with Bell
Atlantic. The agreement also allows MCI to purchase local dialtone
service from Bell Atlantic at wholesale prices and resell that service
to its customers.

The agreement also covers such details as how the companies will
physically connect their networks and the price they will pay for
completion of calls on the other's network. In addition, the
agreements outline what the companies must do to allow customers to
take their telephone number with them as they switch phone companies.

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.


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