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Bell Atlantic-Delaware Customers See Credit On May Bills

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Bell Atlantic-Delaware Customers See Credit On May Bills

One-Time Credit Totals $767,000

May 21, 1997

Media contacts:

Ells Edwards


WILMINGTON, Del. -- Bell Atlantic customers in Delaware soon will
receive a one-time credit on their telephone bills.

The $1.53 credit appears on phone bills being mailed to residence and
business customers this month. It's money that had been held in
escrow following a 1988 rate increase. By law, Bell Atlantic was
allowed to increase rates while the Delaware Public Service Commission
(PSC) reviewed the company's proposed rates. When the PSC approved
lower rates than those sought by the company, customers received a
refund. Changes in federal tax laws that occurred during this time
period affected the refund amount. By agreement between the company
and the PSC, money was placed in escrow until the tax issues were

"The credit that's reflected on May bills of Bell Atlantic-Delaware
customers includes interest, which has more than doubled the original
amount put in escrow," said Gilbert H. Smith, Jr., vice president,
external affairs for Bell Atlantic-Delaware. "Bell Atlantic wanted to
return this money as soon as possible, but it wasn't appropriate until
we reached an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service. This
process required several years because of significant changes to the
tax laws."

The company put $347,000 in escrow following the 1988 rate changes.
The credit for Delaware customers, including interest, totals
$767,000, Smith said.

Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, Bell Atlantic's telephone company subsidiaries
are the premier providers 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.