Bell Atlantic begins flat-rate toll for firms

MARYLAND WATCH

February 07, 1996

Bell Atlantic Corp. said yesterday that it has introduced a flat-rate pricing plan that will simplify the rates Maryland businesses pay for toll calls on its network.

The plan, which is now in effect, sets the price for toll calls within each of the state's four regional calling areas at 9 cents per

minute, any time of day.

The pricing plan does not affect the price of calls between the calling areas -- Baltimore, the Washington suburbs, the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland.

For example, a three-minute call from an Ellicott City business to Bel Air will cost 27 cents. A call from Baltimore to Cumberland, however, would continue to be billed at long-distance rates.

Daniel Whelan, president of Bell Atlantic-Maryland, said the new rate structure will make it easier for businesses to calculate their costs.

The increases will be offset by price increases for such services as directory assistance and private lines under a "revenue-neutral" restructuring of its prices.

The new rate structure is designed to make Bell Atlantic more competitive in the toll-call market, where it expects to face increasing pressure from competitors.

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