Bell Atlantic WORLD SCHOOL Program Nears Halfway Mark With 318 West Virginia Schools Linked to Cyberspace


August 28, 1996

Bell Atlantic WORLD SCHOOL Program Nears Halfway Mark
With 318 West Virginia Schools Linked to Cyberspace

Company 'Connects the Dots' as Poca Schools Are

Latest to Gain High-Speed Internet Access

POCA, W.Va. - The Poca High School "Dots" are
starting the school year
with a hot path to cyberspace, courtesy of the "http://www.bell-atl.com/wschool">Bell Atlantic® WORLD
SCHOOL(sm) program. With the
addition of Poca High and Middle schools,
318 kindergarten through twelfth-grade public schools throughout West
Virginia now have high-speed access to the Internet, nearly half of the
700 schools in Bell Atlantic-West Virginia's service area.

"We're hitting our stride in providing West Virginia's children with
souped-up links to the Internet," said Stan Cavendish, Bell
Atlantic-West Virginia director-corporate and public relations.
counties are 100-percent WORLD SCHOOL, and we'll be bringing more
schools on-line at the rate of approximately one a day as the school
year starts.

"High-speed Internet access allows students to electronically 'break
down' the four walls of the classroom to tap into global learning
resources, from university libraries to scientists' research to the
finest museum exhibits," said Cavendish.

"The WORLD SCHOOL program has helped West Virginia achieve a
leadership position for its progressive programs that meld computer
and telecommunications technologies into classrooms," said West
Virginia Governor Gaston Caperton, who this week is showcasing some of
these programs at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
"We're eagerly awaiting the day when all of West Virginia's
schoolchildren will be able to explore the world of information from
their keyboards."

Members of the Bell Atlantic-West Virginia Telephone Pioneers, a
service organization of active and retired Bell Atlantic employees,
have played a key role in bringing Poca Middle School and other
schools on-line. Pioneer volunteers throughout the state have been
wiring classrooms and school libraries so that
can be installed for Internet access. "http://www.ba.com/nr/96/aug/8-28side.htm">[See
sidebar release for more information on the Pioneers' wiring

WORLD SCHOOL: A Multi-Faceted Program

Under the $10 million WORLD SCHOOL program, which began in June 1994,
Bell Atlantic-West Virginia will provide a digital, high-speed
communications link at no additional charge to schools in its service
area that have connections to the West Virginia Educational
Information System, an administrative information network for the
state's public schools. The Bell Atlantic link allows dedicated
access to the Internet at speeds up to 56 kilobits per second, much
faster than today's analog modems and regular telephone lines. Bell
Atlantic also will install approximately $9,000 worth of hardware and
software required to make the WORLD SCHOOL connection at each school,
and the company will pay for each school's basic Internet access
through the end of 1997.

In addition, 7,000 educators have completed Internet training approved
by the West Virginia Department of Education to help them utilize the
resource in their teaching. Bell Atlantic-West Virginia has
established the WORLD SCHOOL Grant Program to encourage these
educators to creatively integrate telecommunications technology and
collaborative learning into classrooms using the Internet. The
company has awarded nearly $110,000 in grants to 32 teachers at 26
schools since the grant program began in 1995.

To apply for a WORLD SCHOOL connection, schools must submit a
self-nomination form by Dec. 31, 1996. These forms are available from
the West Virginia Department of Education, Building 6, Room 346, 1900
Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston, WV 25305-0330. The telephone number
is 304-558-0304.

Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:
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.


Media contact:

    Harry Mitchell (304) 344-7562