Bell Atlantic to Deploy Fiber Optics, Bringing Advanced Technology To Warren, Bradford Areas

Bell Atlantic to Deploy Fiber Optics,
Bringing Advanced Technology
To Warren, Bradford Areas

Company Will Invest $1.2 Million to Expand,
Local Telephone Network

May 24, 1999


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

WARREN, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic soon will install 32 miles of fiber-optic
cable to connect company's telephone offices in Warren and Bradford.
The $1.2 million project is part of the company's effort to upgrade the
local telephone network and provide advanced telecommunications
capabilities to its customers.

The new fiber-optic cable will be placed in underground conduit through
the Allegheny National Forest to protect the environment. This
technology will provide high-speed, reliable bandwidth between Warren
and Bradford and a key connection to long distance company networks in

In the Warren area, the fiber-optic cable will pass major employers,
schools and medical facilities. In the Bradford area, the fiber will pass
the Bradford Campus of the University of Pittsburgh as well as
businesses. Construction will begin this summer.

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 its
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 (digital subscriber line) 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.

"Bell Atlantic is keeping its promises to Pennsylvania,"
Whelan said. "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

In addition to deploying the latest technology, Bell Atlantic has spent tens
of millions of dollars to open Pennsylvania's local telephone market to

"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 at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and
ninemillion 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.