Bell Atlantic Bridges Ohio River With Toll-Free Calling

Bell Atlantic Bridges Ohio River With Toll-Free Calling

Mason-to-Pomeroy Tolls to be Eliminated Nov. 1

October 8, 1997

Media contacts:

Paul Miller


become local beginning Nov. 1. On that date it will no longer be

necessary to dial a '1' first when calling between the two areas.

Should customers mistakenly dial a '1,' the call will still be

completed toll-free.

Those phone numbers affected on the West Virginia side of the Ohio

River begin with '773.' The Pomeroy exchange, which is in the 614

area code, includes numbers that begin with '992.'

"A river can't divide the ties that bind these two communities. We

recognize this, and we have been working diligently with local groups,

regulators and legislators over several years to get to this

successful conclusion," said Mike Newman, Bell Atlantic area manager

for southern West Virginia.

As a consequence of the Bell System's divestiture in 1984, the company

is prohibited from providing phone service between regional calling

areas and could not provide local phone service across the Ohio River

to Pomeroy without a special waiver from the Federal Communications

Commission. Bell Atlantic just recently was granted permission from

the FCC to link Mason with Pomeroy for local service.

Pomeroy customers have been enjoying local phone service to Mason

since last February. GTE, Pomeroy's local phone company, did not

require special approval from the FCC.

Calling from Mason to Pomeroy will not cost customers extra,

regardless of the local calling plan customers subscribe to. Here's

how the plans are affected:

Thrifty Caller Service ($6 a month, residence; $24.50, business) - All

completed outgoing local calls are billed by the minute, except for

calls to Pomeroy. Calls to Pomeroy are completed at no extra charge.

Community Caller Service ($15 a month, residence customers only) -

Calls within the Mason exchange and to Pomeroy are part of the flat

monthly fee. There is an additional charge for local calls to Letart,

New Haven, Point Pleasant, Ravenswood, Leon and Ripley.

Community Plus Caller Service ($22 a month, residence; $60 a month,

business) - Calls to Mason, Letart, New Haven, Point Pleasant and

Pomeroy are included in the monthly fee. An additional charge is

incurred for calls to Ravenswood, Leon and Ripley.

Frequent Caller Service ($29, residence customers only) - No

additional charges for any local calls, including Pomeroy.

The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and

NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications, information and

entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and

5.5 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are

premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market

leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of

directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the

world's largest investors in high-growth global communications

markets, with operations and investments in 21 countries.