Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing Additional New Technology, Services to Carbon, Luzerne and Schuylkill Counties

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing Additional New Technology, Services to Carbon, Luzerne and Schuylkill Counties

Company Invests $220,000 to Expand, Upgrade Public Telephone Network

March 16, 2000


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

HAZLETON, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic is installing fiber-optic cables to public schools in Carbon, Luzerne and Schuylkill counties as part of an $220,000 project to modernize the local telephone network and provide additional broadband availability to Pennsylvania public schools.

The fiber-optic cables will be connected to Bell Atlantic telephone offices in Freeland, Hazleton, Lehighton, Nesquehoning, Tamaqua, Weatherly and White Haven. This project is expected to be completed by September. The new cables will further Bell Atlantic's commitment to have broadband availability in the nearest right-of-way to public schools by the end of this year.

"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:

  • Investment in the Pennsylvania network totaled nearly $2 billion in 1998 and 1999.
  • Miles of fiber-optic cable in the commonwealth increased by 92 percent from 474,450 in 1995 to more than 911,000 in 1999.
  • Percentage of digital call-routing switches will be 100 percent by the end of the year 2000, having grown from 90.3 percent in 1995 to 98.5 percent in 1999.
  • Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm DSL was launched in Pennsylvania in October 1998. Infospeed DSL is a secure, high-speed, always-on Internet access service 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."

In addition to deploying the latest technology, 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 at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 44 million telephone access lines and more than 12 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.