Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing Advanced Technology, Services to Slatington

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing Advanced
Technology, Services to Slatington

Company Investing $300,000 to Expand and
Upgrade Local Telephone Network

March 22, 1999


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

SLATINGTON, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic technicians are installing more than a
mile of fiber-optic cable and other equipment in Slatington, as part of a
$300,000 project to upgrade the local telephone network and provide
advanced telecommunications services to its customers.

The new fiber-optic cable will run along Main and Grant Streets from
Slatington to the Slatedale area, and connect to a new call-routing and
distributing terminal on Brown Street. The new cable and terminal will
allow Bell Atlantic to expand its ability to offer advanced services, such as
the company's ISDN (integrated services digital network) product. 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.

In addition, Bell Atlantic will install another three miles of new telephone
cables in the same area.

"This project is the latest evidence that Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania 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
    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.

In addition, 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 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." he said.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 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.