Bell Atlantic Deploys Digital Switch, Bringing Additional Advanced Technology, Services To Pittsburgh Area

Bell Atlantic Deploys Digital Switch,
Bringing Additional Advanced Technology,
To Pittsburgh Area

Company Investing $6.5 Million to Expand, Upgrade
Local Telephone Network

April 27, 1999


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

PITTSBURGH -- Bell Atlantic will soon install a new digital switch -- a
state-of-the-art computer that routes calls to their destinations - in its
Carrick telephone office as part of a $6.5 million project to upgrade the
local telephone network and provide advanced telecommunications
services to its customers.

The new digital switch replaces an analog switch, furthering Bell
Atlantic's commitment to have 100 percent digital call switching in
Pennsylvania by the end of the year 2000. The project is expected to be
completed in mid-May.

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.

"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

  • 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.

"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 infrastructure."

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 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.