New Bell Atlantic Company Brings 'Megacenter,' 700 New Jobs to Virginia

New Bell Atlantic Company Brings 'Megacenter,' 700 New Jobs
to Virginia

One-Stop Shopping for Anything From Cellular to Internet Access

March 27, 1997

Media contacts:

HAMPTON, Va. - Bell Atlantic Plus, a subsidiary of
Bell Atlantic Corp., will bring as many as 700 new jobs to Virginia
when it opens a major telemarketing and customer service center here
early this summer. An additional 200 jobs may be added later.

The "megacenter," the first of its kind in Bell Atlantic, will
located in Hampton's Newmarket Fair Mall on Mercury Boulevard.

The announcement came this afternoon in a news conference here with
Virginia Gov. George Allen and officials of Bell Atlantic Plus. Bell
Atlantic Plus will market packages of a wide variety of
telecommunications services.

"Our customers have wanted one-stop shopping for their
telecommunications needs. Our mission is to give them just that,"
said Mary Ellen Payne, Bell Atlantic Plus vice president for full
service marketing.

The megacenter will serve customers throughout Bell Atlantic's
mid-Atlantic region, offering a wide range of telecommunications
services through what the company calls its "full-service
One-stop shopping will make it convenient for customers to order all
of their telecommunications needs, including cellular service,
internet access, paging and long distance (when the company is
permitted to offer the service in its region). Some customers may
realize a savings in buying packages of services that up until now
they have had to buy separately.

Bell Atlantic Plus is a direct outcome of the Telecommunications Act
of 1996, which opened the local telephone market to competition.
"Freedom to choose brings with it enormous complexities for the busy
consumer. Customers may have to deal with a host of different service
providers and a multitude of invoices. By integrating our services,
we intend to make telecommunications shopping simple and easy,"

The Bell Atlantic Plus megacenter will occupy 125,000 square feet of
the former two-story Miller & Rhoads department store. The company is
investing $26 million to rehabilitate the building and construct a
sophisticated telecommunications network.

When the center opens early this summer, it will initially employ 150
people. That number is expected to increase within a year to 700
positions. After the first year, there is a possibility that an
additional 200 jobs may be added.

Bell Atlantic Plus began its search for a site for the megacenter just
six months ago. The company looked at several sites, some of which
were in other states.

"We kept coming back to Virginia, and specifically to Hampton.
Virginia offered a diverse and highly educated workforce and a
favorable economic environment," said Frank Bennett, Bell Atlantic
Plus vice president for call center development.

Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is
at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company's operating telephone company
subsidiaries are the premier provider of local telecommunications and
advanced services. Globally, it is one of the largest investors in the
high-growth wireless communication marketplace. Bell Atlantic also
owns a substantial interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and
is actively developing high-growth national and international business
opportunities in all phases of the industry.