Bell Atlantic Launches Three Fiber-Optic Projects in Richmond Area

Bell Atlantic Launches Three
Fiber-Optic Projects in Richmond Area

Company Invests over $575,000 to Expand, Upgrade Local
Phone Service

October 12, 1999


Paul Miller,

RICHMOND, Va. -- Bell Atlantic is investing nearly $600,000
in the Richmond area in three projects designed to upgrade the company's
local telecommunications network and provide advanced services to its

"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 rural and urban 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 over 10 miles of
fiber-optic cable west from Richmond along Route 6 in Goochland County
to serve the growing West Creek business park. The cable will connect
with Bell Atlantic's switching center in Manakin. The project will provide
all businesses and future customers in West Creek with the latest
broadband technologies. The job, expected to be completed in February,
will cost $353,600.

Bell Atlantic is also placing about four miles of fiber-optic cable in the
Chester area along West Hundred Road and Normandy Drive to form a
SONET (synchronous optical network) ring, which provides increased
reliability. If any part of the ring encounters a disruption, such as a cut
cable, calls on the ring reverse direction almost instantaneously and are
completed without any disruption. The job will be completed by the end
of this month at a cost of $164,500.

A third project involves the installation of fiber-optic cable and associated
electronics to serve the new Midlothian campus of the John Tyler
Community College, which is under construction near Charter Colony
Parkway and Woolridge Parkway. The $57,000-job will be finished next

The new technology deployed in these areas 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.
  • Over 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 consumers to connect to cyberspace at speeds up to
    100 times faster than today's fastest modems.

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 nearly 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.
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