Bell Atlantic Chairman Ivan Seidenberg Presented with the

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WASHINGTON, DC - The highest honor in the new Ovations award program -- "Innovator 2000" -- was presented to Bell Atlantic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ivan Seidenberg last night during an awards ceremony at ComNet 2000. The Ovations program is co-sponsored by CMP Media's magazine and ComNet, a major technology conference and exposition held each year in Washington, D.C.

The Innovator 2000 award is presented to a "service provider professional whose work has showcased outstanding strategic and business leadership, vision and innovation in the past year." The award cited the extraordinary progress Seidenberg made in 1999 in transforming a regional Bell company into a world-class, global data, wireless and Internet powerhouse.

"Bell Atlantic has become the archetype of an incumbent local service provider totally reinventing itself," said Laurel Nelson-Rowe, publisher, as she presented the award. "It is aggressively abandoning its monopoly in the local markets to expand its business in a global sense. Through its pending merger with GTE and its decision to combine its wireless operations with Vodafone Airtouch, Bell Atlantic will be part of a select group, with the largest local wireless footprint in the U.S., one third of the nation's access lines and the largest DSL deployment of any company."

"Such an honor is only achieved if an individual is backed by a tremendous organization," said Seidenberg. "The recognition of Bell Atlantic by the Ovations program is a testimony to the great leadership team at the company and to the work of its 140 thousand employees."

Significantly, two additional Bell Atlantic executives were recognized at last night's Ovations ceremony:

Bell Atlantic Foundation President Suzanne DuBose received an Ovations award yesterday for the Foundation's leadership in providing community services and in helping bridge the so-called "digital divide" between those who have access to computers and those who do not.

Bell Atlantic Mobile Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Dick Lynch, was honored as a finalist in the category for "Wireless Network Design & Engineering/Services." He was recognized for Bell Atlantic Mobile's deployment of digital wireless technology (called CDMA) across its markets while maintaining stellar operations and service results. The Ovations Awards is a unique program honoring achievement and innovation by executives working for the service provider sector of the converging networking and communications industries.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 44 million telephone access lines and more than 12 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 23 countries.

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