Bell Atlantic's Long Distance Plan on Track Despite Supreme Court Decision

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Bell Atlantic's Long Distance Plan on Track
Despite Supreme Court Decision

January 19, 1999

Media
contact:

Shannon Fioravanti,
215-963-6639

Background: The Supreme Court today rejected an appeal by SBC
Communications, Inc. to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996. Bell Atlantic Corporation joined in that
appeal, arguing that certain provisions of the Act unfairly forbade regional
Bell operating companies from entering certain lines of business such as long
distance. The Bell companies contended that these provisions
unconstitutionally singled them out for punishment as an industry. Aside from
impeachment, Congress may not hold trials or impose punishments upon
named individuals.

The following statement may be attributed to James R. Young, Executive Vice
President and General Counsel, Bell Atlantic Corp.:

NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic's push to bring long distance services to
customers remains strong. We have pursued every available strategy to give
customers an immediate, meaningful alternative to the confusing sales pitches,
gimmicks and tricks of AT&T and its cohorts.

While this case worked its way through the courts, we dedicated hundreds of
millions of dollars to opening our local markets to competitors, and we have
met the Telecom Act's requirements. While we do question the
Constitutionality of portions of the Act, we have pressed ahead to prove we
have complied with the 14-point checklist and we are on track to file our New
York long distance application in the first quarter. We are fierce local
competitors and are ready to take on AT&T, MCI WorldCom and Sprint on
their own jealously guarded turf. It is time to introduce real choice into the
long distance market now.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and eight 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 23 countries.

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