GSA Selects Bell Atlantic for Federal Telecommunications Contract Valued Up to $1.4 Billion

GSA Selects Bell Atlantic for Federal
Contract Valued Up to $1.4 Billion

Company To Provide Services Under
Washington Interagency Telecommunications System

January 27, 2000


Kevin Irland,

Meredith Gray,

Michel Daley,

WASHINGTON -- The General Services Administration (GSA) today
awarded Bell Atlantic the aggressively pursued and long-anticipated
Washington Interagency Telecommunications System (WITS2001). This
single-award contract will provide a broad array of telecommunications
services to customers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and is valued
at up to $1.4 billion over a term of four years plus four one-year options.

Under the WITS2001 contract, Bell Atlantic Federal will offer federal
agencies throughout the NCR a full range of local voice, video and data
services, as well as customer premises equipment. Among the new
services to be offered are asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), switched
multi-megabit data service (SMDS), audio and video teleconferencing,
frame relay and high-speed Internet access. In addition, Bell Atlantic will
offer a variety of professional services, including network engineering,
analysis, design, testing and maintenance.

"The WITS2001 program marks an important milestone in how
telecommunications services are provided to the federal
government," said Dennis Fischer, commissioner of the Federal
Technology Service at the Government Services Administration.
"The ability of Bell Atlantic to meet and surpass the contract
expectations is the primary reason for this award."

Many of the federal agencies located within the NCR, which includes
Washington, D.C. and portions of its Maryland and Virginia suburbs,
currently receive their telecommunications services from Bell Atlantic
Federal through the existing WITS contract awarded in 1989. Under that
contract, Bell Atlantic Federal provides more than 170,000 lines for over
one hundred federal agencies, departments and bureaus and has
consistently achieved network reliability of 99.5 percent.

"Through the WITS2001 contract, we look forward to continuing
the relationships we have built with the GSA and its customers,"
said Barbara Connor, president of Bell Atlantic Federal. "We have
proven our ability to provide technically superior, reliable, cost-effective
telecommunications services and this award attests to our continued
commitment to provide our federal customers with the same high-quality

The award of the contract marks the culmination of extensive efforts by
the GSA to provide federal agencies with a flexible and cost effective
process for acquiring telecommunications services. In addition to
providing enhanced telecommunications services anywhere in the NCR,
the WITS2001 contract will make it easy for federal agencies to order
telecommunications services. Agencies will be able to get comprehensive
information on the products and services available through WITS2001
using Bell Atlantic's WITS2001 web site: www.WITS2001.com. Federal
agencies will also be able to take advantage of online ordering, as well as
the recently introduced combination of Service@onceTM automated
telecommunications management system and a consolidated billing

"The WITS2001 contract is vastly different from its
predecessor," said Jim Glowacki, WITS2001 general manager for
Bell Atlantic Federal. "Not only have a multitude of products and
services been added to the contract, but Bell Atlantic Federal has
developed a Windows*-based system that will streamline how federal
agencies fulfill their telecommunications needs. As a result, Bell Atlantic
Federal will help federal agencies save substantial time and

Bell Atlantic Federal has alliances with industry-recognized leaders in
various specialty areas of the telecommunications industry to provide its
federal customers with advanced technical network solutions to support
their mission-critical applications. The companies on the Bell Atlantic
Federal WITS2001 team are: Advanced Logic Systems, Inc.; Lucent
Technologies; PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Robbins Gioia, Inc.; Sigcom and

"Bell Atlantic Federal has delivered a competitively-priced contract
to the GSA," explained Connor. "Combined with our proven
reliability and technologically-advanced solutions, Bell Atlantic Federal
will deliver superior telecommunications services to the federal
government for years to come."

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With more than 44 million telephone access lines and more than 12
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.

* Trademark of Microsoft Corp.