Bell Atlantic gives voice to consumers

21 prominent community leaders named to consumer advisory board

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NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL) has named 21 community leaders to a new Consumer Advisory Board that will advise the company on issues of concern to consumers. The company is establishing the board as part of its commitment to achieving the highest standard of customer care in the telecommunications industry.

Linda F. Golodner, president of the National Consumers League, and Toby Webb, Bell Atlantic executive vice president for External Affairs and Corporate Communications, will serve as co-chairs of the board. Other members hail from throughout Bell Atlantic's domestic territory, which stretches along the eastern seaboard from Maine to Virginia.

"The Consumer Advisory Board will be a self-governing body that will devise its own guidelines, set its own agenda and advise the corporation on issues of concern to consumers," Golodner said.

"We hope to help forge a constructive relationship between Bell Atlantic and the communities it serves as well as help customers better understand and navigate the telecommunications marketplace. I expect the board to play a vital role in assuring that consumer protections and the rights and responsibilities of both the consumer and the company are understood and respected," she added. Webb said, "These community leaders will provide valuable input, feedback and guidance on issues of concern to Bell Atlantic and our customers. I look forward to engaging in a dialogue with such an impressive group."

The Consumer Advisory Board will meet with Bell Atlantic decision-makers to discuss an array of issues, many of which have been identified by state and regional Consumer Advisory Councils in New York, New Jersey, the District of Columbia and New England. Topics will include privacy and First Amendment concerns, fraud and slamming, universal access to services, and universal design of products and services.

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.

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