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June 17, 1996
NYNEX CONTACT: John Bonomo,
NYNEX To Use New Voice Technology For Directory Assistance
NEW YORK -- Residents and businesses
across the Northeast who dial NYNEX for directory assistance soon will
hear a new kind of speech processing technology at work to speed their
requests to operators.
The new technology has been working in parts of the Bronx, and
Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, and will be introduced
gradually across NYNEX's service area during the remainder of the summer,
beginning today in Manhattan.
Callers to NYNEX's directory assistance operator service will hear a
recorded greeting that tells them they have reached NYNEX directory
assistance. Next, recorded voice prompts will ask what city or town the
caller wishes, and then the name of the person or company for which the
caller needs a telephone number.
The recorded information from the callers then will be digitally
recorded and sent electronically to an available operator who will hear
the information and perform the search through NYNEX's directory
database. The remainder of the call will proceed in the standard manner.
If the system encounters silence, callers will be asked, again by the
recorded prompt, to say their request. An operator will be on line after
the information request is forwarded, should an accurate spelling of a
name or any further clarification of the request be required.
Across its service territory, NYNEX's 3,100 directory assistance
operators handle some 2.7 million requests for telephone numbers daily.
"Our expectation is that this will shave about two seconds off
the time our operators spend processing a call," enabling them to help
more customers. Add that time to the millions of requests our operators
get each day, and there is a considerable savings realized in terms of
time and cost," said Katherine Linder, NYNEX vice president and general
manager for Operator Services. "Of course, our primary goal is to make
the new service easy for our customers, while enhancing the entire
directory assistance process."
NYNEX conducted a trial of the new voice technology in the Bronx,
Westchester, Rockland and Putnam areas in mid-1995.
NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides
a full range of services in the northeastern United States and
high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom,
Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland,
Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications,
cable television, directory publishing
and entertainment and information services.
FAX copies of recent NYNEX news releases are available free of charge, 24
a day. Call 1-800-331-1214 and an automated system will provide