Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing Advanced Technology, Services To Ambler,Willow Grove Area

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing Advanced Technology,
Services To Ambler, Willow Grove Area

Company Investing $100,000 to Expand and Upgrade
Local Telephone Network

March 29, 1999


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

AMBLER, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic has completed installation of almost six
miles of fiber optic cable in the Ambler, Willow Grove and Fort
Washington areas of Montgomery County as part of a $100,000 project to
upgrade the local telephone network and provide advanced
telecommunications services to its customers.

The new fiber-optic cable runs between the Bell Atlantic telephone offices
in Ambler, Willow Grove, and Fort Washington. The new cable
containing 48 fibers 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. Bell Atlantic also announced
today that it is deploying additional fiber optic cable in the Lansdale area.
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 - 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 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.