Dialing New 781 and 978 Area Codes Becomes Mandatory Feb. 1

Dialing New 781 and 978 Area Codes Becomes Mandatory Feb. 1

Bell Atlantic to Provide Recorded Messages If Callers
Dial Wrong Area Code

Jan. 29, 1998

Media contacts:

John Johnson


or your local media representative

BOSTON -- Starting Sunday, Feb. 1, callers will begin hearing recorded
announcements unless they dial the correct area codes in eastern
Massachusetts. That's the day mandatory dialing begins for two new
area codes, 781 and 978.

More than a million residents in 127 communities are in the new area
codes. Only Boston and 11 surrounding communities remain in the 617
area. Other communities formerly in 617 are now in 781. Many
communities formerly in the northern part of the former 508 area are
now in 978.

As Bell Atlantic converts each of its switches over the next 60 days
to accept only the new area codes, calls will not be completed without
the correct area code. To make sure their calls go through, customers
should use the new area codes immediately.

The new area codes do not affect rates or local calling areas. A local
call is still a local call, a toll call is still a toll call.
Residents still dial 9-1-1 to reach emergency services.

The following tips will help callers complete their calls on the first

Use the proper area code. If your area code is changing, notify
friends, businesses, vendors, and customers. If you are unsure, check
the consumer guide pages in the front of your Bell Atlantic white
pages directory, or refer to Bell Atlantic area code map
advertisements appearing in many daily newspapers throughout the
Commonwealth. Detailed information is also available on the Bell
Atlantic web site at http://www.bell-atl.com/areacode/. Residence
customers can dial 1-800-870-9999 for more information. Businesses
can call 1-800-941-9900.

To complete all calls, dial 7 or 11 digits. For local calls within
your own area code, dial 7 digits. For all other calls, dial 11 digits
("1" + area code + 7-digit number). In addition, customers have the
option of dialing just the area code and 7-digit number for local
calls into another area code.

Reprogram modems, autodialers, speed dialing, call forwarding, voice
dialing, security and medical alarms.
Contact your equipment provider
to reprogram private branch exchanges (PBX's) and other telephone
equipment to accept the new 781 and 978 area codes. Owners of PBXs
also should ensure their equipment is programmed to handle area codes
without a "0" or "1" as the middle digit.

Since Sept. 1 customers have been able to complete calls using either
the new or old area codes while making all the necessary preparations
for the Feb. 1 start of mandatory dialing.

The new area codes will free up telephone numbers formerly in use in
the old 617 and 508 geographies. On May 1, Bell Atlantic will begin
reusing these numbers to meet the pent up demand from competing local
phone companies, paging and cellular carriers, as well as residents
and businesses in the Commonwealth.

[Note to Editors: To hear the recorded announcements which will
remind customers that an area code has changed, dial 617-743-2858.]

Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 40.5 million telephone access lines and six 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.