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Hampton Roads consumers can now make Internet connections via Bell

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First-time subscribers offered 30 days free unlimited Internet. Launch features first major re-design of user interface-- new interface enables subscribers in all markets to customize default home page for their city.

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. -- Consumers in Hampton Roads now have a new way to make connections in cyberspace -- via Bell, a new, easy to use dial-up Internet access service. For those who sign up now, the offer to consumers includes an introductory trial period of 30 days free, unlimited Internet access.

Bell makes using the Internet as easy as making a phone call. The services' simple-to-use navigation and information directories link customers to useful resources, events, organizations and services in their local community, so anyone can plan a week-end vacation, research day care options or find helpful information on running a small business. Bell also provides easy access to the best of global resources, places and information in hundreds of interest areas.

"There are a myriad of interesting and informative Web sites right in our own backyards," said Bob Beran, president - Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions. "Whether they are experienced users or novices, Bell subscribers will find our service gives them easy access to this local information, as well as to thousands of other global sites on the Internet."

Re-designed User Interface

Hampton Roads' customers -- as well as customers in all other markets -- will see the first major re-design of Bell's user interface since its debut in July. Changes to the service include wider screens, a new graphic look and functionality that will let users customize their screens so they have faster access to the "local living" zone created especially for the metropolitan area they live in or near. Customers will have access to 1,700 pages within the Bell site, organized into 2,100 content categories, with links to over 5,200 "best-of-the-Web" sites across the globe.

Bell features the Netscape Navigator* browser and will add the Microsoft** Internet Explorer browser in the near future, to provide increased customer choice. Bell subscribers will also have access to Cyber Patrol***, a tool that enables parents to manage and control their children's Internet access, at a sharply discounted rate.

Communications services for staying in touch with family, friends and colleagues are also readily accessible, including e-mail, chat and newsgroups. The service includes superior customer service and technical support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the high reliability customers have come to expect from Bell Atlantic.

Designed to meet both personal and business needs, Bell will help business users find information and resources to start, run and/or grow their business. It will provide access to news, market, networking and technology information necessary for a business to stay competitive. Communication among workers, suppliers and customers will also be simplified.

Bell costs as low as $19.95 per month for unlimited access, depending on the customer's choice of Global Service Provider (GSP). The fee for a Global Service Provider, a company providing the long distance portion of the service, is as low as $2 a month for unlimited access. There also is a yearly plan and an hourly plan for Bell The yearly plan enables customers to realize a monthly savings of eight percent by signing up for one year of unlimited access. Under the hourly plan, users can pay as low as $6.95 a month for five hours (depending on the GSP chosen), plus $1.95 for each additional hour.

These rates for unlimited access apply for both analog modem access and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) access. ISDN, which is available to most Bell Atlantic telephone subscribers, provides dial-up connection to the Internet that is up to 10 times faster than the typical modem dial-up connection.

The minimum system requirements for Bell are a 386 Intel-equipped, IBM-compatible PC(2), 8 megabytes of memory, 6 megabytes of free hard disk space, a 14.4 kilobits-per-second modem, and a 3 1/2 inch floppy disk drive. Bell currently works with Microsoft Windows** 3.1, 3.11 and Windows 95**. An Apple**** Macintosh**** version of the software will be available shortly. Internet Services for Large and Small Businesses Available

High-speed, dedicated Internet access services and Web services that enable businesses and governments to establish a presence on the World Wide Web also are also available in Hampton Roads.

Dedicated business access services are offered with a choice of speeds, ranging from 56 kilobits per second to 34 megabits per second. Web services include Web site production, hosting and security services. Bell Atlantic also offers consulting and network integration services that provide expert aid to businesses and other large organizations that require support in the planning, design, procurement and management of their Internet connections and presence.

Customers interested in ordering a free copy of Bell software and subscribing to Bell Atlantic's Internet access service can call 1-800-NET-2026. For more information on the service, customers can visit the company's Web site at For information regarding Bell Atlantic's ISDN service, customers can call Bell Atlantic InfoSpeed on 1-800-204-7332.

Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions, Inc. is a new unit of Bell Atlantic created to develop and deliver a full range of Internet services to businesses, governments and consumers -- from Internet access to electronic mail to World Wide Web site production and hosting.

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.

(1) Excluding Global Service Provider charge.
(2) Some other systems may also be compatible.

* Trademark of Netscape Communications Corp.
** Trademark of Microsoft Corp.
*** Trademark of Microsystems Software, Inc.
**** Trademark of Apple Computer Inc.