Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Electronics, Bringing Additional Technology, Advanced Service To Indiana County

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics,
Bringing Additional Technology, Advanced
To Indiana County

Company Invests $450,000 to Expand, Upgrade
Local Telephone Network

November 10, 1999


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

CLYMER, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic is nearing completion of a $450,000 fiber-
optic project in the Clymer area of Indiana County to upgrade the local
telephone network and provide additional broadband capability to its

In the final phase of this project, the company is installing new fiber-optic
cable and associated electronic equipment to serve new and existing
businesses and residential areas in Cherryhill Township. Fiber-optic cable
has been placed along Laurel Run Road and State Route 553 from Clymer
to the Cambria County line. The project is expected to be completed in
December, 1999. 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