Bell Atlantic, NYNEX Enable Millions to Participate in 'Virtual Summit'
April 21, 1997
PHILADELPHIA, NEW YORK CITY - When delegates gather at the Presidents' Summit for America's Future, people around the world will be able to participate and share their thoughts with delegates at the summit using the latest Internet technology. The summit takes place from April 27 - 29 in Philadelphia.
As primary providers of summit telecommunications services and equipment, Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have created an interactive web site that is now operational at http://www.americaspromise.org. The site enables summit delegates and "virtual delegates" who participate on-line to work together, in real time, on action plans to help America's young people lead fuller lives.
During the summit, the site will provide live coverage - audio, video and text - of many events, including the opening ceremony where Presidents Clinton, Bush, Carter, Ford, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, and Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.), general chairman of the summit, will issue a historic call to action.
After the summit, the site will live on as a "digital neighborhood," serving as a dynamic gathering place for people everywhere who want to build on the ideas and plans launched at the summit. This national resource is intended to match up people who want to help with human services organizations that assist young people.
A key component of the web site are its "declaration pages," which list companies and organizations that have pledged themselves to community service.
Visitors to the site can register to become a member of a "digital neighborhood" and participate in summit proceedings. The names will become part of a database of interested individuals who will serve as a significant resource for post-summit activities and follow up.
Visitors registering with the site will choose from a list of categories to create a profile that identifies them based on areas of interest. When they register, they will receive customized local information through the web site and by e-mail.
For example, a summit participant from Boston might choose to receive all summit news releases along with all materials concerning delegations from Massachusetts. Or a participant interested in safe haven programs for kids would be sent information regarding corporate commitments in their area and details on how to get more involved locally.
"The web site will enable the good work beginning now at the summit to continue into the 21st Century," said Ray Smith, Bell Atlantic chairman and chief executive officer. "This groundbreaking effort takes full advantage of the newest Internet technology to build digital neighborhoods that enable people to help our youth succeed."
"We're providing easy-to-use technology that will help revitalize the spirit of public service in all corners of America," said Ivan Seidenberg, NYNEX chairman and chief executive officer. "This web site enhances our ability to share ideas with one another before, during and after the summit."
Many areas of the web site will include multimedia content on everything from schedules of summit events, to speeches and delegate session action plans. The action plans will be compiled on laptop computers by volunteers who will staff each of the 16 sessions. Material from the delegation meeting will be uploaded from laptop computers using wireless modems to www.americaspromise.org.
The action plans will be posted on the site on Monday evening, April 28. Everyone with Internet access is being encouraged to contribute their questions, comments and responses to the web site. All e-mail responses will be collected by summit staff and volunteers and delivered to summit delegations.
All conference participants will be able to explore the web site at one of 12 kiosks located around the convention hall or in the summit Resource Center. The Resource Center (room 201B at the Pennsylvania Convention Center) will have 25 computer workstations connected to the Internet.
The upcoming summit kicks off a national campaign to renew the spirit of volunteerism, especially targeting America's youth. Summit organizers expect participation from 1,700 community and state delegates representing 140 rural and urban communities, all 50 states, and five territories.
Bell Atlantic and NYNEX expect to merge soon, pending government review.
Bell Atlantic Corp. (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.
NYNEX is a global communications and media corporation 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 telecommunications, wireless communications, directory publishing and video entertainment and information services. NYNEX is also managing sponsor of FLAG - Fiberoptic Link Around the Globe - the world's longest undersea fiber optic communications cable.
NYNEX news releases are available on the Internet at http://www.nynex.com, or via fax for no charge at 1-800-331-1214.