08.26.1996Corporate

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY DORMS AND OFFICES TO GET BELL ATLANTIC OPTIMAIL

!-- BEGIN NEWS RELEASE -->

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 26, 1996


VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY DORMS AND OFFICES
TO GET BELL ATLANTIC OPTIMAIL VOICE MESSAGING

Part of VCU's Multimillion-Dollar Technology Plan


RICHMOND, Va. - For busy students, faculty and staff on
the urban
campuses of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), talking to each
other will soon get a lot easier. By using the features of Bell
Atlantic® OptiMail® voice messaging this fall, the daily lives of
VCU students and employees will be a little simpler. Professors now
will be able to leave a message for all their students at any hour with
a single call, while students can organize group meetings without
spending hours on the phone.


VCU will have one of the largest central-office-based voice mail
systems of its kind in the nation when it is complete in 1997.
Residence halls and offices will have OptiMail this fall, and next
year, VCU will be one of the first universities to connect off-campus
residents to the school's voice messaging network by offering the
service to students and staff in the nearby Fan and Shockoe districts
of Richmond.


The introduction of voice messaging through Bell Atlantic's Centrex
service is just one step in VCU's plan to increase access to
information for students, faculty and staff anytime, anyplace. The
university is incorporating state-of-the-art technology to improve how
its students learn, how its professors teach and conduct research, and
how its medical patients receive care. To achieve this goal, the
university will invest millions of dollars through its aggressive
Partnership 2000 plan to build a far-reaching technology
infrastructure.


As a part of that plan, Bell Atlantic and VCU have formed a strategic
relationship to develop a suite of communications products, services
and networks that enable VCU to offer an asynchronous education - an
education that is independent of time and place.


Bell Atlantic OptiMail offers voice messaging phone service that is
inexpensive and easily accessible from anywhere. OptiMail includes
features such as a single number for both phone and fax calls and an
after-hours answering service for the university's offices. VCU also
is working closely with Bell Atlantic on numerous other projects that
are changing the face of higher education.


"We've been moving aggressively to become a 'virtual university'
that
enables students to learn wherever and whenever they can," said Dr.
Eugene P. Trani, president of Virginia Commonwealth University.
"Our
strategic vision for the university recognizes that technology for
communication and networking is critical. Through our partnerships
with companies such as Bell Atlantic, we can achieve our vision. Bell
Atlantic has been instrumental in helping us plan the best ways to
connect our information resources and our students."


VCU's other immediate efforts with Bell Atlantic include an
international distance learning program for MBA students; a
telemedicine program linking health-care practitioners on VCU's
Medical College of Virginia Campus with suburban and rural practices
and a clinic within a state prison; a teleradiology program; and a
plan to install an asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network this Fall.
Projects for the near future include wiring residence halls for video
and data communications, Internet connectivity through "http://www.bell-atl.com/html/hot/">Integrated
Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines, and a campus-wide
infrastructure program.


"On- and off-campus connectivity are the key ingredients to making
education asynchronous," said Dr. Arthur Gloster, VCU's vice provost
for Information Technology. "I believe that a large number of
today's
colleges and universities will have to drastically alter the way they
do business within the next 10 years because they have not made the
necessary technological investments to offer busy students access to
the kind of education they need. That's why we are working closely
with Bell Atlantic to provide OptiMail voice messaging, an ATM network
trial, and connectivity for a growing number of programs."


Virginia Commonwealth University is a Bell Atlantic®
All@once(SM)
Solutions customer. The All@once approach is designed to help
customers deal with the growing complexities of meeting their
information technology (IT) needs. By providing services ranging from
a la carte to end-to-end solutions for integrated voice, video and
data communications as well as comprehensive consultation,
implementation and project management, Bell Atlantic can serve as a
complete source for IT solutions for VCU and other All@once customers.


"The administration at Virginia Commonwealth University recognizes
that the needs of today's students have changed dramatically. To
effectively address those changes, VCU and Bell Atlantic have worked
together to build cost-effective solutions that fit precisely with
VCU's specific requirements, and the installation of one of the
nation's largest voice messaging systems is only the beginning,"
said
Joe Cascio, vice president of Marketing at Bell Atlantic Large Business
Services.
"Under the All@once approach,
we've developed a comprehensive plan that allows students easy access
to resources and provides the administration and faculty with the
tools they need to offer a superior education."


VCU's School of Business Distance Learning Center uses Bell Atlantic's
ISDN lines to provide two-way voice and video communication to
anyplace in the world. The center is used for projects including
joint seminars with corporate executives and university students in
Ireland, France and Hong Kong.


At VCU's Medical College of Virginia (MCV) campus, Bell Atlantic
trialed six months of network service to help the telemedicine program
get underway. MCV doctors and students can now remain on campus to
consult with and perform exams on patients at a state correctional
facility and a remote family practice by using video conferencing
equipment. MCV's telemedicine program gives patients at remote
locations greater contact with physicians and faster response times to
medical emergencies.


The primary goal for the VCU teleradiology program is immediate
interpretation of exams and diagnosis. Digital imaging technology and
video-conferencing equipment can provide quick responses to
mammograms, breast screenings, biopsies, follow-up exams and more for
remote patients. By the Fall, Bell Atlantic will provide the ATM
network connections for live two-way audio and video communications
among the MCV Hospitals, the ambulatory and Nelson clinics on campus,
and a rural medical practice.


Located in downtown Richmond near the state's financial and
governmental capital, Virginia
Commonwealth University
is the largest
public urban doctoral-granting university in Virginia with more than
21,000 students in 144 degree programs across two campuses. The
Academic Campus boasts programs in the Arts, Business, Education,
Engineering, Humanities and Sciences, and Social Work. Through its
Medical College of Virginia Campus, VCU is the only university in the
state to offer degrees in all major health-sciences programs: Allied
Health Professions, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. That
campus includes MCV Hospitals, the largest acute-care center in
Virginia. VCU also offers one of the largest Evening Studies programs
in the country, allowing students a choice of 800 classes and more
than 60 degree programs.


Bell Atlantic Corporation is at
the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth 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.


The company's Large Business Services organization offers customers
Bell
Atlantic All@once Solutions
: integrated voice, data and video
applications and the professional consulting and support services that
add up to a precise solution that fits and evolves to meet customers'
specific communications needs.


Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is 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.


####


Media contacts:

    Hill and Knowlton, Inc.: Aaron Graham, 212-885-0300

    "mailto:agraham@nyc.hillknowlton.com">agraham@nyc.hillknowlton.com

    Bell Atlantic : Paul Miller, 804-772-1460

    "mailto:miller@ba.com">miller@ba.com

    Virginia Commonwealth University: Kyra Newman, 804-828-6052
    "mailto:knewman@hibbs.vcu.edu">knewman@hibbs.vcu.edu