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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 1996
BELL ATLANTIC'S NEW OFFERINGS ASSURE PHONE
SERVICE FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
Philadelphia, PA -- Bell Atlantic has introduced two plans to
make telephone service even more affordable for its low-income
customers in Pennsylvania.
The company's new Lifeline program provides low-income residential
customers with a $5 credit on monthly phone bills and a 50-percent
reduction on the line connection charge. The second plan -- the
Universal Telephone Assistance Program (UTAP) -- helps Lifeline
customers pay their basic phone charges in times of crisis.
"Today, more than 97 percent of Pennsylvania's citizens have
service, the highest in the nation," said Bill Mitchell, Bell
vice president of external affairs. "These two programs will help
preserve and improve that high level."
To qualify for Lifeline Service, a customer must be a participant in
one of three Department of Welfare programs: Aid to Families with
Dependent Children (AFDC); General Assistance (GA); or Supplemental
Security Income (SSI). Applicants whose annual income is at or below
the poverty level established by U. S. Census Bureau income guidelines
are also eligible.
UTAP helps qualified, low-income residential customers pay for basic
telephone service charges in critical times. The program is available
only to certified Lifeline customers. While Bell Atlantic will pay
for the program, it will be administered by The Salvation Army, which
will verify customers' eligibility and determine the amount of
assistance to be provided.
Although certain optional services will not be offered to Lifeline
customers, they will have access to the long distance network,
emergency 911 service and toll-free 800 numbers. For safety and
security, Lifeline customers also may subscribe to Touch-Tone service,
and they may use Call Trace on a per-call basis.
Bell Atlantic estimates there are 640,000 Pennsylvania customers who
are eligible for Lifeline service.
Bell Atlantic customers interested in Lifeline Service may call
1-800-272-1006. To apply for new service, call 1-800-640-4155.
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.
for more information, contact: