Verizon Online Cuts DSL Prices for Consumers in 14 Midwest, Southeast and Western States And for Small Businesses Nationwide

NEW YORK - Verizon Online, the national Internet service provider recently formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, has reduced its DSL (digital subscriber line) rates for residential and business customers and waived modem fees for all new subscribers.

Customers not only benefit from the lower pricing -- which cuts monthly charges by 20 percent or more -- but they can get started for free since there are no one-time charges for equipment or connecting the service.

"Now is the time for customers to enjoy the benefits of a high-speed connection by taking advantage of our great new offers on DSL," said Alex Coleman, vice president and general manager of Verizon Online. "By lowering our pricing and eliminating start-up fees, we're making it clear that we plan to compete aggressively for new residential and business customers."

Verizon Online's Bronze Plus DSL service - available to residential customers in the Midwest, Southeast and West Coast -- is now $39.95 per month, a 20 percent decrease from $49.95. It offers connection speeds of up to 768 Kbps downstream and up to 128 Kbps upstream.

This reduction brings pricing for consumers in line with pricing for Verizon Online's Personal DSL service for residential customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region which also was reduced to $39.95 in July. Personal DSL and Personal DSL Plus, the entry-level package for small businesses, offer connection speeds of up to 640 Kbps downstream and up to 90 Kbps upstream.

Small businesses nationwide also will enjoy new lower prices for Verizon's DSL. In the Midwest, Southeast and Western states, the entry-level price for Bronze Plus DSL service has been cut more than 20 percent from $91.50 to $69.95. In the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, the price for Personal DSL Plus has been reduced from $64.95 to $49.95. The prices for small business are still different in the former GTE and Bell Atlantic regions due to feature differences in the DSL service.

Both new and current customers of Verizon Online DSL will benefit from the lower pricing, effective Sept. 1.

In addition to the new competitive prices, Verizon Online is now offering a free modem, a $99 value, to all new residential and small business DSL customers in its Mid-Atlantic and Northeast markets. The offer is available through Dec. 31 and requires the customer to keep the Verizon Online DSL service for 12 months. Midwestern, Southeastern and Western customers have been offered a free modem for several months.

DSL carries information up to 11 times faster than a traditional 56K dial-up modem and allows subscribers to make a phone call and surf the Internet simultaneously over a single telephone line. DSL users have their own line to the telephone central office so they're not competing with neighbors sharing the same bandwidth as cable modem customers do.

All Verizon Online DSL packages for consumers and businesses include Verizon Online Internet access and offer unlimited use of DSL.

Verizon Online DSL Available in 25 States and Washington, D.C.

Verizon Online DSL service is offered in parts of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Customers in the Midwest, Southeast and West can determine if Verizon Online DSL is available to them on the Web at www.gte.net or by calling 1-888-467-2375. Additional information about Verizon DSL service in these areas is available at www.verizon.com/dsl.

Customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions can determine whether Verizon Online DSL is available to them on the Web at www.verizon.com/dsl or by calling
1-877-525-2375. Consumers in these areas who order online at www.verizon.com/dsl get the first 30 days free.

The connection speed is the rate at which customers connect to the DSL network and is faster than the actual speed of data transfer, which varies based on a number of factors including Internet congestion, proximity to the phone company central office and modem configuration.
Customers who take advantage of the free modem offer are required to keep their Verizon Online DSL service for 12 months.

Many consumers today are installing DSL themselves on their computers once Verizon equips their phone line with DSL. They receive a do-it-yourself installation kit that includes a DSL modem and everything else they need to complete the installation.

Verizon Communications (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 100 million access line equivalents and more than 25 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.