PHILADELPHIA and New York City — Volunteers and delegates at the Presidents' Summit for America's Future will receive the tools and training that will enable them to use the power of the Internet to increase their effectiveness, Bell Atlantic and NYNEX announced today.
Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, and their wireless subsidiary Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile, are the primary providers of all telecommunications services for the Presidents' Summit. The companies are transforming the Pennsylvania Convention Center into a telecommunications hub through a massive deployment of cable, high-speed data pipelines and new networking capabilities.
The telecommunications firms will assist HandsNet, a national non-profit technology intermediary which helps non-profit organizations harness the Internet to increase awareness, raise funds, attract volunteers and address community problems and challenges.
"This technology will change the way we volunteer in America," said Raymond W. Smith, Bell Atlantic chairman and CEO. "The Internet and our networks will make our efforts to mobilize new volunteers and gather support faster and more effective. All of us at Bell Atlantic commend the Presidents' leadership in recognizing the potential good technology can do in our communities."
With a grant from Bell Atlantic and NYNEX, HandsNet will train approximately 200 people attending the Presidents' Summit, April 27-29 in Philadelphia. In breakout sessions during the event, those trained volunteers will work with summit delegates to draw up community action plans on 196 laptop computers, distributed by Bell Atlantic and NYNEX. Of these, 40 are equipped with a wireless modem. Action plans will be sent through modems through the summit web site at www.americaspromise.org. Delegates and anyone with an Internet connection can review and comment on these plans, including people monitoring the summit from back home.
"People viewing the summit website worldwide will provide instantaneous, real-time feedback to the delegates. As a result, they'll have access to a world of new resources to help address local issues and track new sources of support," said Sam Karp, executive officer of HandsNet. "With the help of Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's wireless technology, delegates from 170 communities nationwide will find new helping hands in ways previously unimagined."
The Bell Atlantic/NYNEX grant also will enable HandsNet to establish an Internet Resource Center in Room 202B of the Convention Center. Delegates will be able to explore the summit's interactive website, and check out a list of bookmarks providing easy access to nonprofit and human resource organizations.
HandsNet staff, aided by employees and volunteers from Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, the Foundation Center, and Philadelphia-based LibertyNet, will conduct continuous training sessions on the use of web browsers, Internet search engines, fundraising tools available on the web and other useful applications.
"These technologies will assure the continuing success of this effort, long after the summit is over," said Ivan Seidenberg, NYNEX chairman and CEO. "When they see what the Internet can do for efforts at home, volunteers will be inspired nationwide, and the Presidents' goal of protecting at-risk children will be easier to achieve."
Sixteen non-profit organizations using innovative approaches to online mentoring, learning, fundraising, and information sharing will be showcased in the bridge area of the convention center.
For the past ten years, HandsNet has built and managed an on-line community, now linking five thousand human service organizations throughout the United States. Its members include many of the nation's premier policy and advocacy organizations, trade and membership associations, foundations and local service providers.
Bell Atlantic Corp. (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.
NYNEX (NYSE:NYN) is a global communications and media corporation that provides a full range of services in the northeastern United States and high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Phillippines, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The corporation is a leader in telecommunications, wireless communications, directory publishing and video entertainment and information services. NYNEX is also managing sponsor of FLAG - Fiberoptic Link Around the Globe - the world's longest undersea fiber optic communications cable.
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