Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, New Equipment to Serve Owings Mills Business Park

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, New
Equipment to Serve Owings Mills Business

Company Invests $1.2 Million to Expand, Upgrade
Local Telecommunications Network

July 23, 1999


Sandra Arnette ,

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Bell Atlantic recently installed over
18,500 feet of new fiber-optic cable and digital electronic equipment
totaling more than $1.2 million in Owings Mills. The project is part of
Bell Atlantic - Maryland's 1999 network construction and modernization
program, which will total more than a half-billion dollars.

The new fiber-based digital loop carrier system will serve roughly four
million square feet of corporate office and retail space at a newly
developed business park on Red Run Boulevard. The state-of-the-art
technology will enable Bell Atlantic to offer voice and high-speed data
services to tenants of the business park. The fiber system also will
improve reliability and survivability in Bell Atlantic's network.

"Bell Atlantic is bringing the benefits of the Information Age to
every citizen in Maryland," said Sherry F. Bellamy, president and
CEO of Bell Atlantic - Maryland. "We are investing over $1 million
a day in our telecommunications network to provide Maryland consumers
and businesses with high-speed access to the Internet, work-at-home
capabilities and a host of other innovative advanced services."

Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin glass fibers and digital technology to
deliver high quality telephone service and high-capacity, high-speed data
transmission services. These are critical elements for technology- and
information-intensive businesses.

The Owings Mills fiber project will serve customers in the Red Run
Corporate Center, Painters Mill Venture, Lakeside Financial Center,
Merritt at Owings Mills, Pleasant Hill Center and Riparius Center at
Owings Mills.

Bellamy said Bell Atlantic is aggressively deploying advanced technology
in its network:

  • Annual spending on the company's Maryland network increased 31
    percent from $417 million in 1995 to $548 million in 1998.

  • Miles of Bell Atlantic-owned fiber-optic cable in Maryland
    increased by 30 percent from nearly 281,000 in 1995 to more than
    366,000 at the end of 1998.

  • The percentage of digital call-routing switches has grown from
    95 percent in 1995 to 99.2 percent today.

  • Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm DSL (digital
    subscriber line) service was launched in parts of Maryland last fall.
    Infospeed DSL is a digital high-speed, always-on service that
    enables consumers to connect to the Internet at speeds up to 126
    times faster than today's fastest analog modems.

"Bell Atlantic is building and enhancing a top-flight public
telecommunications network in Maryland that is a vital part of the state's
economic infrastructure," said Bellamy. "In addition, our
network engineering operation in downtown Baltimore plays a significant
role in Bell Atlantic's network in Maryland and throughout our entire
service area, from Maine to the Virginias."

In addition to deploying the latest technology, Bell Atlantic has spent tens
of millions of dollars to open Maryland's local telephone market to

"We have irreversibly opened our markets to competition,"
Bellamy said. "Competition for local service is here today in
Maryland, and it's growing.

"Any company that wishes to compete for Marylanders' local phone
service is able to do so," Bellamy added. "Bell Atlantic has
agreements to connect with more than 100 companies authorized by the
Maryland Public Service Commission to offer local service in Maryland.
Plus, we have spent over $1 billion in our 14-state region and devoted
several hundred employees solely to making the required software and
systems changes to enable other companies to use our network and
compete for our customers."

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.