Bell Atlantic Launches Major Construction Projects in Hampton Roads

Bell Atlantic Launches Major Construction
Projects in Hampton Roads

Company Invests Over $1.4 million to Expand, Upgrade Local
Phone Service

December 17, 1999


Paul Miller,

NORFOLK, Va. -- Bell Atlantic is investing nearly $1.4 million over the
coming months in five projects that will upgrade the company's
telecommunications network in Hampton Roads.

"We have a state-of-the-art telecommunications network in Virginia,
and we're committed to making it even better," said Hugh Stallard,
president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - Virginia. "We're moving at a
rapid pace to provide our customers with high-speed access to the Internet,
work-at-home capabilities and a host of other innovative services."

The largest of the projects involves the placement of approximately 20
miles of fiber-optic cable that will connect Bell Atlantic switching centers
in Poquoson, Newport News and Yorktown. Construction is underway on
this $700,000-project and is expected to be completed by the middle of
next year.

Bell Atlantic also is constructing a facility to house electronic equipment
serving the Little Creek Road area of Norfolk. As part of the project, the
company is installing about three miles of fiber-optic cable to link this
facility with the switching center. The initiative is expected to be finished
early next year at a cost of about $300,000.

Another fiber-optic cable, currently under construction, will connect the
company's Bute Street switching center with another switching center on
Brickell Road, about five miles away. The $116,000 project is scheduled
for completion in about a month.

A 2.7-mile section of fiber-optic cable is being placed in Virginia Beach to
connect Bell Atlantic's switching center at Indian River Road with a
remote switching center at Centerville Road. The $75,000 project is part
of a broader plan to upgrade the Centerville switching center next year.
The fiber job is expected to be finished this month.

The fifth project, costing $233,000, involves a total facilities makeover for
the Bay Colony neighborhood in Virginia Beach. All new cables are
being installed to expand capacity and replace deteriorated cable. The
project will be completed early next year.

The new technology deployed throughout Hampton Roads will increase
Bell Atlantic's ability to offer 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 services.

Stallard said Bell Atlantic has made major strides in deploying advanced
technology in its network in Virginia:

  • At the end of 1998, Bell Atlantic had nearly 610,000 miles of
    fiber-optic cable in the state.

  • More than 98 percent of Bell Atlantic's switching offices in
    Virginia are digital, providing increased reliability and quality.

  • Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm DSL (digital subscriber line) was
    launched in Northern Virginia last year. Infospeed DSL is a
    high-speed, always-on Internet access service that enables
    users to connect to cyberspace at speeds as much as 100 times
    faster than today's fastest modems. The service will be
    available in parts of Hampton Roads in the coming weeks.

In addition to deploying the latest technology in Virginia, Bell Atlantic is
spending tens
of millions of dollars to open its local telephone market to competition.

"We have irreversibly opened our markets to competition,"
Stallard said. "Over 100 companies have been certified by the state
to compete against us, and they're here because we've helped pave the way
for their entry."

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 countries.