Bell Atlantic to Deploy Fiber Optics, Bringing Advanced Technology, Services To Williamsport Area

Bell Atlantic to Deploy Fiber Optics, Bringing Advanced Technology,
Services To Williamsport Area

Company Investing $365,000 to Expand and Upgrade
Local Telephone Network

April 6, 1999


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic will install almost eight miles of
fiber-optic cable in the Williamsport area over the coming months as part
of a $365,000 project to upgrade the local telephone network and provide
advanced telecommunications services to its customers.

The new cable containing 96 fibers will run from the Bell Atlantic
telephone office in Williamsport across the Susquehanna River bridge,
passing Central Elementary School, South Williamsport Area
Junior/Senior High School and South Williamsport Elementary School.
The new cable will then run west to Nisbet, passing Duboistown
Elementary School and Nisbet Elementary School. Engineering of the
route is nearly complete and construction is scheduled to begin in the third
quarter of 1999.

This new technology will allow Bell Atlantic to expand its ability to offer
advanced high-speed data services and provides additional reliability and
survivability in the Bell Atlantic network. In addition, the new
construction fulfills a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
requirement to provide the Pennsylvania Telephone Company, an
independent telephone company serving the community of Oval, with a
fiber-optic link to Williamsport. Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin glass
fibers and digital technology to deliver high quality telephone service
along with high-capacity/high-speed voice and data transmission services.

"This project is the latest evidence that Bell Atlantic is meeting our
commitment to deliver a state-of-the-art telecommunications network
throughout Pennsylvania," said Daniel J. Whelan, president of Bell
Atlantic - Pennsylvania. "We are accelerating our construction schedules
to provide rural and urban customers with high-speed access to the
Internet, work-at-home capabilities, as well as a host of other innovative
advanced services."

Whelan said Bell Atlantic has made major strides in deploying advanced
technology in its network:

  • Annual spending on the Pennsylvania network nearly doubled
    from $539 million in 1995 to more than $961 million in 1998.

  • Miles of fiber-optic cable in the commonwealth increased by 66
    percent from 474,450 in 1995 to 786,106 at the end of 1998.

  • Percentage of digital call-routing switches has grown from 90.3
    percent in 1995 to 96 percent at the end of 1998.

  • Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm DSL was launched in Pennsylvania last
    fall. Infospeed DSL is a high-speed, always-on Internet access
    services which enables consumers to connect to cyberspace at
    speeds up to 100 times faster than today's fastest analog modems.

In addition, Bell Atlantic has spent tens of millions of dollars to open
Pennsylvania's local telephone market to competition.

"We have irreversibly opened our markets to competition," Whelan said.
"We can't force the long distance giants or anyone else to compete here,
but anyone who genuinely wants to enter our markets can do so.

"Bell Atlantic is keeping its promises to Pennsylvania. We are building
and enhancing a public telecommunications network in Pennsylvania that
is the finest in the world and is a vital part of the commonwealth's
economic infrastructure."

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and 8.6
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.