Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing Additional Advanced Technology, Services to DuBois Area

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing Additional Advanced Technology,
Services to DuBois Area

Company Invests $750,000 to Expand, Upgrade
Local Telephone Network

October 22, 1999


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

DUBOIS, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic is nearing completion of a $750,000 fiber-
optic project in the DuBois area to upgrade the local telephone network
and provide additional broadband capability to its customers.

In the final phase of this project, the company is installing new fiber-optic
cable and associated electronic equipment to serve new and existing
businesses and expanding recreational areas in Clearfield County. Fiber-
optic cable is being placed along Anchor Road and Basse Terre Road in
the Treasure Lake area, along Rte. 219 south of Dubois to Sykesville, and
west of DuBois on Washington Street to the Falls Creek area. The project
is expected to be completed in December, 1999. The fiber optic cable also
provides additional reliability and survivability in the Bell Atlantic

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 will be 100 percent by
    the end of 1999, having 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 secure, high-speed, always-on Internet
    access services that 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.

"However, we are deeply concerned about our ability to continue these
high levels of network investment in the wake of a recent decision from
the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission," said Whalen. "This
decision significantly increases Bell Atlantic's cost of doing business in
Pennsylvania, imposing a number of requirements on our company alone.

"The decision also unjustly hands our competitors hundreds of millions of
dollars, money that otherwise could be used to reduce rates for all our
customers or to modernize our network facilities throughout the

"In effect, the PUC is guaranteeing profits for our competitors on the
backs of our customers, employees and shareowners," Whalen said.

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 more than 43 million telephone access lines and nearly 10
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