Bell Atlantic Frame Relay Users Can Now Track Data Traffic Online

Bell Atlantic Frame Relay Users Can Now
Track Data Traffic Online

Web Site Enables Customers to Optimize Networks
and Save Money

January 26, 1999


Maureen Flanagan,

NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic Frame Relay customers now can take
advantage of an online tool designed to help them conveniently track and
manage their data traffic. The service, known as Customer Service
Management, is currently available to business customers in Maryland,
Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and
Washington, D.C. via a Bell Atlantic Web site.

"Customer Service Management will help network managers
optimize bandwidth by giving them over 20 ways to measure their data
traffic," said Marc Jacobini, Bell Atlantic product manager for Fast Packet
Customer Service Management. "This service can show customers
detailed network performance information, helping them save money by
maximizing the use of their network."

Customer Service Management is expected to be available to all
Frame Relay customers throughout the Bell Atlantic service area,
including New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts
and Rhode Island in the first quarter of 1999. Customer Service
Management will be available to Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
customers in the second quarter of 1999.

When designing a Frame Relay network, customers select the
maximum limit of available bandwidth they think they will need. Often,
customers may opt for more bandwidth than they usually need to
accommodate the heaviest traffic times. For example, a customer may
believe that 80 percent of the Frame Relay bandwidth available is being
used, while in reality the customer's company may only be using a small
percentage of the available bandwidth capacity.

By reviewing Customer Service Management reports, customers
will be able to track the real usage of a line. They may find they have the
bandwidth to transmit more data on a line than they realized. Customers
also can see if they are in danger of exceeding their bandwidth capacity
and losing data.

The reports show the time of day when they generate the most data
traffic and which network channels are the busiest. That information will
tell Frame Relay managers when they should schedule data transmissions
to avoid the peaks in traffic.

Customer Services Reports also provides Frame Relay managers
another tool to better serve internal or external customers. Information
technology (IT) managers can promise a certain level of service to the
people at their company. If someone has problems moving data, the IT
manager can easily investigate the issue and see if there is congestion in
the network. Internet Service Providers use Customer Service
Management to optimize the bandwidth usage on the network.

"Customers tell us that accessing detailed information over the
Internet while maintaining the security of that information is very
important to them," said Jacobini. "Our new Web service will enable
customers to anticipate potential trouble spots and also save money by
optimizing their network configurations."

Frame Relay customers can go to the Bell Atlantic Customer
Service Web site at www.batrend.com and log into the system with an
I.D. and a password. The site features two user-friendly tools to navigate
through the information:

  • A ReportSelector screen provides an easy-to-follow menu of reports.
    Customers can open individual reports from a folder or select from a
    predetermined report package. The Customer Service Management
    Table/Graph wizard immediately downloads the individual report or
    the requested report package.

  • Reports appear on the ReportViewer screen. Customers can freely
    configure a report's appearance, change the sort order for any table,
    view tables and graphs in separate frames, edit their properties, print
    them, or save them in an MicrosoftTM* Excel or MicrosoftTM* Access
    compatible format.

    Bell Atlantic's Large Business Services offers an extensive suite of
    communications solutions. Whether for voice, data, images or video, Bell
    Atlantic's All@Once Solutions represents a tailored approach for
    customers. To learn more about All@Once Solutions -- a perfect fit for
    business -- -visit All@Once Solutions, or call 1-800-846-1200,
    ext. 7299.

    Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
    information industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and eight
    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.

    * Trademark of Microsoft Corp.

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    Bell Atlantic Customer Service Management Sidebar

    Technology Features

    • On-line data packet counts for Frame Relay User Network Interfaces.
      This information helps customers gauge how on-line traffic affects the
      User Network Interfaces, the point where the user's system ends and
      Bell Atlantic's begins.

    • On-line data packets counts for Permanent Virtual Connection
      These counts measure the data transmission between two
      points on the network. Customers can use this information to see
      high- and low-usage paths on the network, and when these paths are
      the busiest or lightly used.

    • Over 20 parameters for data counts. The parameters help network
      managers see the data flow over their portion of Bell Atlantic's
      network. Frame Relay parameters that gauge the information flow
      include bytes/in, bytes/out, discard eligible frames, discarded frames,
      Forward Explicit Congestion Notification, Backward Explicit
      Congestion Notification counts and frame counts errors. All of this
      information is presented in a tabular format, allowing customers to see
      when congestion may occur.

    • Utilization statistics. A network may be challenged by port speed,
      which limits how quickly data can move through the network, and by
      the chosen Committed Information Rate, which is the maximum data
      bandwidth that customers have selected.

      Utilization statistics provide information on this traffic flow and how
      well the customer's virtual network is being used compared to the
      bandwidth parameters stipulated in the customer's contract. This
      feature, combined with the discard eligible/discarded frames reports,
      enables customers to verify whether the Frame Relay Permanent
      Virtual Connection is optimally configured. Bell Atlantic's system
      automatically provides the port speed and the circuit's committed
      information rate.

    • Summary and detail reports. Summary reports enable users to quickly
      identify circuits that require further analysis to determine the root of a
      network problem. Customer Service Management provides the ability
      to quickly access detailed information on these circuits.

    • Timely information. Users can access yesterday's information today
      along with data for the last three months.

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