Verizon Completes Sale of Selected Illinois Telephone Exchanges to Citizens Communications

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Verizon Communications, the national communications company formed by the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic, today completed the sale of approximately 106,000 telephone lines that serve 110 exchanges in Illinois to Citizens Communications.

The sales agreement was announced in December 1999 and is part of Verizon's previously announced initiative to sell approximately 1.6 million telephone lines in the United States. Proceeds from the sale will be used to invest in other Verizon strategic initiatives.

The impact on service will be virtually transparent to customers. Local telephone customer accounts will automatically transfer to Citizens Communications, which will be the new operation's brand name.

Additionally, all 89 Verizon employees serving the 110 exchanges being sold will become employees of Citizens. The transaction does not affect Verizon's offering of long-distance, Internet, and wireless services in Illinois. Verizon will continue to own and provide services to more than 800,000 customer access lines in Illinois.

Citizens Communications will operate exchanges in: Abingdon, Addieville, Albany, Aledo, Alexis, Alpha, Altamont, Andover, Ashley, Bartelso, Basco, Batchtown, Bath, Beecher City, Benld, Biggsville, Bowen, Brownstown, Brussels, Bunker Hill, Carlinville, Carthage, Chadwick, Chesterfield, Coffeen, Coleta, Cordova, Dallas City, Donnellson, Dow, Dubois, East Dubuque, Edgewood, Eliza, Elvaston, Erie, Fairplay, Farina, Ferris, Fieldon, Fillmore, Fulton, Gillespie, Greenview, Gulfport, Hamburg, Hamilton, Hampton, Hardin, Hettick, Hillsdale, Hoffman, Hooppole, Hoyleton, Ina, Irvington, Jerseyville, Joy, Kampsville, Keithsburg, Keyesport, Kilbourne, Kirkwood, Lanark, Little York, London Mills, Lyndon, Mason City, Matherville, Medora, Milledgeville, Monmouth, Morrison, Mount Olive, Mulberry Grove, Nauvoo, New Boston, New Douglas, New Minden, Niota, North Henderson, Oquawka, Patoka, Pittsburg, Polo, Port Byron, Preemption, Prophetstown, Ramsey, Rio, Roseville, Sandoval, Seaton, Shannon, Shattuc, Sherrard, Shumway, Sorento, St. Elmo, St. Peter, Stronghurst, Sutter, Tamaroa, Tampico, Teutopolis, Thomas, Waltonville, Warsaw, Watson, and Woodlawn.
Beginning December 1, customers in these exchanges should call Citizens Communications' new toll-free numbers for assistance. The new numbers are:

Residential services: 800-921-8101
Business services: 800-921-8102
Repair services: 800-921-8104

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 101 million access line equivalents and more than 26 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com .


Tracy M. Scholle, Verizon (Northern Illinois),
815/895-1488, pager 888-551-4188

Dick Shoemaker, Verizon (Southern Illinois),
309/827-1261, pager 800-739-8003

Mike Berry, Verizon (Great Lakes region),
219/461-2160, pager 800-616-3593

Brigid Smith, Citizens Communications,
203/614-5042, pager 888-347-2996

Karen Miller, Citizens Communications,
845/344-9416, pager 845-346-7479