01.21.1998Corporate

Bell Atlantic-Vermont, Public Service Department Agree on Price Regulation Plan




Bell Atlantic-Vermont, Public Service Department Agree on Price Regulation Plan

Schools, Public Libraries to be Wired


January 21, 1998







Media contacts:

Joan Jamieson

802-863-0797


SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Bell Atlantic customers in Vermont will pay
less for in-state long distance calls to locations 25 or more miles
away and basic rates will be capped under an agreement filed late
Monday by the Vermont Department of Public Service and Bell
Atlantic-Vermont.


Under the agreement, which must be approved by the Public Service
Board, every public and private elementary school, middle school and
public library served by Bell Atlantic in Vermont will be given a free
telephone line. High schools and vocational technical centers will
receive high speed data lines.


"The Price Regulation Plan will reduce in-state toll rates in Vermont
while protecting our residential customers from increases in their
basic phone rate for three years," said Louise McCarren, Bell
Atlantic-Vermont president and chief executive officer. "At the same
time, the plan gives us the pricing flexibility we need to vie for
customers in Vermont's increasingly competitive marketplace."


To help the schools maximize their use of telecommunications, the
agreement provides funding for three full-time employees at the
Vermont Institute of Science, Mathematics and Technology to provide
teacher training.


The plan also includes stringent service quality measurements that, if
not met, will result in further price reductions.


If approved, the proposed Price Regulation Plan will be effective July
1 through July 1, 2001.


Highlights of the Bell Atlantic/Department of Public Service Plan


In-State Long Distance toll bands for 25-30 miles, 31-55 miles and
56 or more miles all reduced to rates for 19-24 miles (day rates, as
high as 33¢ for the first minute and 31¢ for each additional minute,
would be reduced to 27¢ for the first minute, 25¢ for each additional
minute; evening rates, as high as 24.3¢ for the first minute and 22.3¢
for each additional minute, would be reduced to 20¢ for the first
minute, 18¢ for each additional minute; night and weekend rates, as
high as 15.3¢ for the first minute and 13.3¢ for each additional
minute, would be reduced to 12.8¢ for the first minute, 10.8¢ for each
additional minute)


Educational Commitment:


  • High speed data access to every high school and vocational technical
    center in Bell Atlantic's Vermont territory
  • Free business phone line to every elementary school, middle school
    and public library in Bell Atlantic's Vermont territory
  • Three full time employees at the Vermont Institute of Science,
    Mathematics and Technology to train teachers in technology and the use
    of telecommunications services


Price Caps:

  • No price increases for residential basic phone service, special
    access, residence non-published & non-listed services and wireless
    interconnection services

  • 2 percent annual cap on price increases for business basic phone
    service, residential and business usage charges, payphone service
    (prices we charge to the payphone providers to bring dial tone to
    their payphones) and business non-published & non-listed services

  • No restrictions on price changes for all other tariffed services


Carrier Access prices reduced by 1¢ (the per-minute price long
distance carriers pay to have us carry their calls across our local
network)


Service Quality:


  • 11 service quality performance areas measured with a penalty/reward
    point system that can result in revenue adjustments by raising or
    lowering of prices based on a Price Regulation Index formula
    (Inflation - Productivity factor +/- Service Quality points)

  • When installation appointments are missed, customers will get a
    credit equal to the installation charge for basic service. When a
    customer is out of service more than 48 hours, customers will get
    credit for one month's basic dial tone rate.


Productivity factor of 3.75 percent


Special contracts negotiated with customers will meet Public Service
Board requirements for fair competition and will take effect 15 days
after being filed.


Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications, information and
entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and 5.8
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 21 countries.