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Bell Atlantic Responds to New Competition from MCI WorldCom

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Bell Atlantic Responds to New Competition from MCI WorldCom

February 3, 1999


Shannon Fioravanti,215-963-6639

BACKGROUND -- MCI WorldCom announced today that it will use Bell Atlantic's
network to provide local telephone service to New York residential and
business customers. The long distance giant plans to take advantage of a
leasing arrangement with Bell Atlantic that could enable MCI WorldCom to
deliver a package of local and long distance services to customers immediately.
The following statement should be attributed to James G. Cullen, president
and chief operating officer, Bell Atlantic Corp.:

We welcome MCI WorldCom as a local competitor in New York. Bell
Atlantic is confident that the long distance giant's decision to work with us
rather than against us will produce new growth opportunities for both

After three years of unnecessary delays, one long distance carrier finally
understands that the most efficient, affordable way to serve local
customers now is through cooperative relationships with companies like
Bell Atlantic.

Our New York systems are capable of processing thousands of customer
orders a day, and we are confident that MCI WorldCom's requirements
will be met by these sophisticated operations.

We urge federal and state policymakers to note the sea changes that are
underway in this industry and the undeniable presence of local
competition. As MCI WorldCom and AT&T launch an aggressive
invasion into Bell Atlantic's local markets, it is time for public policy to
catch up with the realities of the marketplace. Long distance markets must
be open to competition now. New York is an excellent place to begin.