Bell Atlantic's West Virginia Business Customers to See Rate Reductions in 1999

Bell Atlantic's West Virginia Business Customers
to See Rate Reductions in 1999

Saving Amounts to $3.5 Million Annually

December 30, 1998


Paul Miller,

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Many of Bell Atlantic's business customers
in West Virginia will celebrate the New Year with lower rates.

Businesses that have a PBX (private branch exchange), or in-house
switchboard, will enjoy a savings of roughly 25 percent on the cost
of a trunk to link their phone system to a Bell Atlantic
switching office. Effective Jan. 1, the price per trunk will
drop from $93.50 to $70 a month.

In addition, customers who subscribe to Bell Atlantic's Business
Community Plus Caller Service will benefit from the elimination of
the per-minute charge on calls to other exchanges within
their particular local calling area. Today subscribers to that
service have free calling within their immediate exchange, but pay
a measured-usage charge on local calls to neighboring exchanges.
Customers' monthly rate will not change, but the measured charge
will be dropped.

"The elimination of this charge, coupled with the reduction in
the PBX trunk rate, will provide our business customers with a
savings of some $3.5 million a year," said Dennis Bone, president
and CEO of Bell Atlantic - West Virginia. "This continues a
string of rate reductions that began 10 years ago."

The latest reductions come in the wake of a three-year agreement
between Bell Atlantic, the state's Public Service Commission and
its Consumer Advocate Division. Bell Atlantic began operating in
West Virginia under incentive regulation in 1988. Since that
time, rates have been reduced on a broad range of services with a
savings to customers of more than $56 million a year.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and
eight 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.