New phone books are on the way. And they're packed full of useful features -- ranging from an Internet Guide to redesigned government listings in the Blue Pages -- and a new logo and design. Residents and businesses of Montgomery and Prince George's counties will begin receiving the new 1997-1998 Maryland Suburban directories within the next few weeks. Northern Virginia directories for 1998 will be delivered starting in early January.
All of the new features in the directories are designed to make Bell Atlantic the customer's first choice for information-based shopping.
"The new Bell Atlantic directories for Maryland Suburban, and soon for Northern Virginia, reflect our belief in providing our customers and advertisers with local information and services that allow for global access, such as the Internet," said Robert A. Graham, president and chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic Directory Services.
The Internet Guide -- supported by advertising in a 12-page tabbed insert -- contains information on hardware and software requirements, a glossary, a step-by-step approach for connecting to the World Wide Web, tips on choosing an Internet service provider and a list of recommended Web sites. The guide complements Bell Atlantic's BigYellowsm, the nation's leading online shopping directory.
For the first time in the Maryland Suburban/Northern Virginia region, Yellow Pages listings include an optional extra line for E-mail and Web site addresses to respond to the growing number of Web sites. Industry analysts indicate that some fifty percent of all U.S. companies have set up Web sites.
In addition, the Blue Pages government listings in the Maryland Suburban directories are simpler to use because they are now listed by service, rather than by organization. For example, the U.S. Passport Agency, which used to be listed only under "S" for "State Department," is listed in the new Blue Pages under "P" for "Passport."
Bell Atlantic also has introduced in the Maryland Suburban Yellow Pages a new Delivery Guide section for Yellow Pages advertisers, focusing on businesses that provide delivery services. The guide will be expanded and included in the Northern Virginia Yellow Pages.
The design for the Maryland Suburban directory covers includes the new Bell Atlantic logo and an illustration of a local landmark. For Prince George's County Bell Atlantic directories -- north and south editions -- the illustration is of the College Park Airport, the world's oldest continuously operating airport. For Montgomery County Bell Atlantic directories -- both north and south editions -- the Great Falls Tavern on the C&O Canal is illustrated. The tavern, built in 1828, now serves as a visitor center and museum for the National Park Service.
The cover illustrator is accomplished artist Mary Lynn Blasutta, who is based in New Paltz, N.Y. Her illustrations, which will be featured on all the company's 500 directories, further demonstrate Bell Atlantic's commitment to the communities it serves in 13 states and Washington, D.C.
Bell Atlantic is the world's largest publisher of Yellow Pages shopping directories.
The new Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL) 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, the corporation is the premier provider of advanced wireline voice and data service in the eastern United States and a market leader in wireless services. Bell Atlantic also is the world's largest provider of directory information and one of the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 21 countries.