Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Electronics Bringing Advanced Technology, Services to Uniontown Area

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Electronics
Bringing Advanced Technology, Services
to Uniontown Area

Company Invests $1.1 Million to Expand, Upgrade
Local Telephone Service

June 7, 1999


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

UNIONTOWN, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic has begun installation of a
new fiber-optic cable and associated electronic equipment near Uniontown
as part of a $1.1 million project to upgrade the local telephone network
and provide advanced telecommunications services to its customers.

One section of the new cable containing 216 fibers will run along U.S.
Route 40 east of Uniontown to the community of Chalk Hill, passing
several schools as well as residential and business customers. A second
section of cable containing 96 fibers will run west from Uniontown along
Route 40, providing increased bandwidth to area homes and businesses.
Construction is expected to be completed by September.

This new technology 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. 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

"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 secure, 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

"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.