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New Jersey -- Hotbed for Regional Toll Competition
Bell Atlantic Jumps in with Easy to Understand Calling
Plans for Consumers
SoundDialing Flat Monthly Rate Plan Debuts Today
October 22, 1996
Joan Rasmussen (703) 974-8815
NEWARK, N.J. -
In the telecommunications wars of the '90s, New Jersey is
a prize territory worth fighting for. The state's residents are big
talkers, ranking second only to Californians in the number of regional
toll calls they make.
No wonder that Bell Atlantic-New Jersey is arming itself with regional
toll plans designed to meet the needs of the three million households the
company serves. The newest plan, launched today, is SoundDialing.
This flat rate regional toll plan is available to residential customers
with prices starting at $10 per month. SoundMinutes, another regional
toll plan with free Sunday calling, was announced recently.
Residential customers who sign up for SoundDialing will be able to make
all their regional toll calls while paying a flat monthly fee. The plan
was designed in response to consumer requests for a set monthly price
with no surprises.
Regional toll calls are those made outside a local calling area, but
generally within a few dozen miles from a customer's home or office.
Examples of regional toll calls are those from Wildwood to Atlantic City,
Toms River to Freehold, Morristown to Newark, and Princeton to Trenton.
New Jersey has three toll regions.
"Consumers have struggled long enough with complicated calling plans that
defy understanding," said Len Lauer, Bell Atlantic-New Jersey president
and CEO. "With Bell Atlantic's new flat monthly rates, you'll know
exactly how much you'll pay each month for regional toll calls, allowing
you to stay within your budget."
The monthly SoundDialing rate will be set for each customer based on that
customer's prior regional toll usage. Basic price tiers are $10, $15,
$20 and $27.50. Rates for higher volume regional toll customers will be
The flat monthly fee will apply to direct-dialed, intrastate regional
toll calls and is guaranteed until April 20, 1997. Cellular calls, calls
to the 976 exchange, operator-handled calls and Bell Atlantic( IQ( Card
calls are excluded. Some eligibility requirements and restrictions apply.
Residential customers can sign up for SoundDialing starting today by
calling 1-800- 345-9990, operator 9781. There is no enrollment fee.
New Jersey consumers who prefer simple per-minute pricing can enroll in
Bell Atlantic's SoundMinutes intrastate regional toll plan.
SoundMinutes is a flat-rate, optional, regional toll calling plan that
allows residential customers to make direct-dialed, intrastate regional
toll calls for 10 cents per minute evenings (5 p.m. to 8 a.m.) and
weekends and 12 cents per minute weekdays (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Free Sundays
will be part of the plan through March 30, 1997.
In addition to free Sundays, SoundMinutes customers save 20 percent when
their monthly regional toll bill totals $20 or more, through their
automatic enrollment in Bell Atlantic's 20/20 Savings Plan. Bell
Atlantic also is topping off free regional toll calls on Sundays with
another free "Sundae" for SoundMinutes customers -- a Dairy Queen coupon
for a free ice cream sundae valid in most Dairy Queen locations in New
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.