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Bell Atlantic Launches Nation's First Commercial VDT System

Media contact(s) 

January 29, 1996


Media contacts:

Harry Mitchell, 304-344-7562

Eric Rabe, 215-963-6531

DOVER TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- A new era for American consumers dawns
as Bell Atlantic starts commercial service on its Dover Township video
dialtone [VDT] network, giving area residents a high-quality choice
for their entertainment and other services.

"This is a landmark occasion for Bell Atlantic, our industry and
consumers," said Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr., Bell Atlantic vice
"Dover Township's residents are at the crest of a wave that
ultimately will provide consumers throughout our service area choice,
convenience and control over their telephone, video and interactive

In Dover Township, Bell Atlantic is expanding an all-digital VDT
system that provides voice, data and video services on the same
network. Video information providers [VIPs] lease channels from Bell
Atlantic and, in turn, offer consumers video and other services such
as interactive text-based information.

Programming on the VDT network currently is being offered by
FutureVision, one of seven VIPs who have reserved channels on the
384-channel, digital system. In addition to FutureVision, other VIPs
who have reserved capacity on the Dover Township system include Graff
Pay-Per-View, Inc.; International TeleCommerce; Playboy Entertainment
Group and Rainbow Programming Holdings, Inc.

"Bell Atlantic is building the future of communications right here
Dover Township," said Len Lauer, president and CEO of Bell
Jersey. "And, through our 'Opportunity New Jersey' plan, Bell
will accelerate the deployment of advanced telecommunications services
to the entire state."

Bell Atlantic has tested its system extensively in the laboratory and
under field conditions. The most recent test involved volunteers from
200 local households who have put the Bell Atlantic network through
its paces since mid-December. The company has installed more than a
million feet of fiber-optic cable so far in upgrading its Dover
Township telecommunications network.

Bell Atlantic will make its VDT system available to about 1,000 to
1,500 households per month according to a detailed construction
schedule. The company will notify Dover Township residents of
progress in the network construction and specific neighborhoods where
the system will be available. Bell Atlantic ultimately will pass all
38,000 homes and businesses in Dover Township.

Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.