March 28, 1996
NYNEX CONTACT: Media Relations,
Cellular Carriers Join Forces With City Of Philadelphia In Fight
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Some of them resemble giant craters while
others look like cavities, but whatever their form, potholes are every
In an effort to repair more than 100,000 potholes expected in the city
following the area's worst winter on record including the "Blizzard
of '96," the City of Philadelphia and two cellular carriers -- Comcast
Metrophone, a division of Comcast Cellular Communications, Inc., and
Atlantic NYNEX Mobile -- have teamed up to create a new pothole elimination
program called "Star F-I-X."
Spearheaded by City Councilman-at-Large Frank Rizzo, Jr., Star F-I-X
enables concerned citizens to report potholes, as well as broken traffic
lights -- all from the convenience of their cars.
The free cellular call will automatically be routed to the Philadelphia
Streets Department's Customer Affairs Unit where repair crews will be dispatched
and the problem quickly rectified. All customers have to do is press the
"Star" key, then the letters F-I-X to activate the call and they
will automatically reach the Streets Department.
According to Councilman Rizzo, this pilot program provides a tremendous
opportunity for the public to be actively involved in solving the ever-frustrating
pothole problem plaguing the City of Philadelphia.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the level of positive response
from the City, and the cellular carriers, Comcast Metrophone and Bell Atlantic
NYNEX Mobile," Rizzo said. "This partnership will allow the hundreds
of thousands of cellular users all across Philadelphia to take an active role in keeping the streets safer for everyone."
Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell shares Rizzo's enthusiasm for the program.
"Drivers are the people who complain the loudest about potholes,
because of course, they are most affected by them," said Mayor Rendell.
"Comcast Cellular Communications, Inc. and Bell Atlantic NYNEX
Mobile with the implementation of the Star F-I-X program, allow the Philadelphia
Streets Department to correct the pothole problem quickly and efficiently,"
Comcast Metrophone, a division of Comcast Cellular Communications, Inc.,
and Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile will include Star F-I-X information in their
customer communications materials, to go along with existing safety programs
such as Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's "Star J-A-M" and "Auto
Help Line," and Comcast Metrophone's "Mobile Watch," and
"Good Samaritan," among others.
"We see this endeavor as a natural extension of our efforts to
help our customers use their cellular phones to report traffic accidents
and other emergencies they observe from the road," said Donald A.
Harris, president of Comcast Cellular. "The Councilman came to us
and asked if this was an idea that made sense -- we agreed it did and were
able to move quickly, with our new state-of-the-art network to get this
service up and running."
"Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile is proud to be partnering with the
City of Philadelphia to make our streets safer for city residents and commuters,"
said Robert Stott, regional vice president, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile.
"We're always looking for ways to broaden the applications of wireless
communications. As such, Star F-I-X is a valuable complement to the many
driver safety programs that also rely on Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile technology."
Philadelphia Streets Commissioner Lawrence Moy said that the customer
service representatives are trained to educate callers regarding what other
areas besides potholes they can report, such as street and traffic light
"With the `Five-Day Pothole Response' program in effect, Star F-I-X
users can help us identify the many potholes out there, and report them
before they become hazardous conditions," Moy said.
Rizzo added that the implementation of Star F-I-X will help tremendously
to rid the city of potholes and other related problems before they result
in serious roadside emergencies. It will also allow residents to be directly
involved, along with the city, in helping to keep the streets safe for
vehicular traffic and pedestrians.
Comcast Cellular Communications, Inc. is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation
(Nasdaq-NNM: CMCSA, CMCSK) with more than 350 cell sites, serving a population
of 8.2 million in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. Comcast
Cellular, headquartered in Wayne, Pa., is ranked as the nation's fourth
largest non-wireline carrier, with more than 1,000 employees. It is also
known for its innovative approach to customer satisfaction, creating new
products and services such as an enhanced directory assistance program
called "Comcast Connect," 24-hour customer service, and the new
"Metro 2000" product, which allows customers to buy cellular
phones without the hassle of a typical cellular purchase.
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile, headquartered in Bedminster, N.J., is the
largest wireless service provider on the East Coast and the second largest
provider in the United States. The company offers a full range of wireless
voice, data, and paging communications solutions to its three million customers
in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and through a separate subsidiary,
in the Southwest. The company was formed in July 1995 through the combination
of Bell Atlantic Mobile's and NYNEX Mobile's cellular operations. The company
has more than 5,000 employees.
NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides
a full range of services in the northeastern United States and
high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom,
Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland,
Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications,
cable television, directory publishing
and entertainment and information services.
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