Bell Atlantic Deploys New Digital Switch, Bringing Additional Advanced Technology, Services To Northeast Philadelphia

Bell Atlantic Deploys New Digital Switch,
Bringing Additional Advanced Technology,
To Northeast Philadelphia

Company Invests $6.7 Million to Expand, Upgrade Local
Telephone Network

January 28, 2000


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

PHILADELPHIA -- Bell Atlantic has installed a new digital
switch, a state-of-the-art computer that routes calls to their destinations, in
its Mayfair telephone office in northeast Philadelphia as part of a $6.7
million project to upgrade the local telephone network and provide
additional broadband capability to its customers.

The new digital switch, which replaced older analog technology,
provides faster, more reliable telephone service to the more than 56,000
phone lines served by the Mayfair office. Installation of the new
equipment furthers Bell Atlantic's commitment to have 100 percent digital
switching in Pennsylvania by the end of this year.

"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:

  • Investment in the Pennsylvania network totaled nearly $2 billion
    in 1998 and 1999.
  • Miles of fiber-optic cable in the commonwealth increased by 81
    percent from 474,450 in 1995 to more than 863,000 in 1999.
  • 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 98.5 percent in 1999.
  • Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm DSL was launched in Pennsylvania in
    October 1998. Infospeed DSL is a secure, high-speed, always-on
    Internet access service 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

In addition to deploying the latest technology, 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 at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 44 million telephone access lines and
more than 11 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.