Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing Additional Technology, Services to Grove City, Mercer Area

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics,
Bringing Additional Technology, Services
to Grove City, Mercer Area

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

July 7, 1999


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic is installing new fiber-optic cable

between the towns of Grove City and Mercer in Mercer County as part of
a $220,000 project to upgrade the local telephone network and provide
advanced broadband services to its customers.

This new technology will allow Bell Atlantic to expand its ability to serve
growing residential areas in Mercer and rural Findley Township as well as
businesses in Grove City that need advanced high-speed data services. The
new cable containing 72 fibers will run along State Route 58 for about 10
miles. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-August.

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.

"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 43 million telephone access lines and nine
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.