Bell Atlantic Chairman Ray Smith Says New York Communications Market is 'Undeniably Open'

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Bell Atlantic Chairman Ray Smith Says New York Communications Market is 'Undeniably Open'

Many Companies Compete For Customers on Long Island

March 4, 1998

NEW YORK -- The communications market in New York State is
"undeniably open to competition," proof that Bell Atlantic should be
allowed to provide long distance service to its customers in the
state, Bell Atlantic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ray Smith
said today.

New players are entering the arena in record numbers as the local,
long distance and cable markets are opening to competition, Smith said
in a speech to the Long Island Association in Woodbury, N.Y.

"The transformation to borderless, unfettered competition will
ultimately be measured in years, not months, but the process is well
underway," he said. "And as a result, the market is doing exactly
what Congress intended: stimulating growth, innovation and

Robust demand for high-bandwidth communications attracted record
capital flows in 1997, increasing competition and expanding the job
market to meet the needs of growing businesses, according to Smith.

He noted that on Long Island many telecommunications companies compete
for a piece of both the business and residential markets.

"Bell Atlantic has invested millions of dollars and taken all the
necessary steps to open our networks and stimulate the competition
that exists today," he said. "We now want the same opportunity to
further invest for the benefit of our customers, our employees, and
our local communities. Our number one objective is to provide the
fullest range of services - including local, long distance and data
services - to the best, most competitive market in the country."

Noting that Bell Atlantic-New York spent more than $250 million last
year on improvements to the company's Long Island network, Smith said
the local economy is reaping the benefits of having an advanced
digital network that can quickly and efficiently handle all the cargo
of the information age. He said an indication of the thriving economy
is the fact that 35 percent of all the residential telephone orders
placed with Bell Atlantic on Long Island are for additional lines -
one of the highest rates in the country.

Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 40.5 million telephone access lines and six 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.


Media contact:
John Bonomo
212 395-7756

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