Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Electronics, Bringing Additional Advanced Technology, Service to Fayette County

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics,
Bringing Additional Advanced Technology,
to Fayette County

Company Invests $250,000 to Expand, Upgrade
Local Telephone Network

November 12, 1999


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

DAWSON, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic has completed a $250,000 fiber-optic
project in the town of Dawson, located in northern Fayette County, that
upgrades the local telephone network and provides additional broadband
capability to its customers.

The company installed new fiber-optic cable and associated electronic
equipment to serve new and existing businesses and homes in the Dawson
Grange and Linden Hall areas. The fiber-optic cable runs along State Rte.
1002 between Dawson-Banning Road and Keffler Road. The fiber optic
cable also provides additional reliability and survivability in the Bell
Atlantic network. 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 the year 2000, having grown from 90.3 percent in 1995
    to 96 percent at the end of 1998.

  • Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm DSL was launched in Pennsylvania in
    October, 1998. 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 global
telecommunications 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 more than 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 countries.