Bell Atlantic Launches Three Fiber-Optic Projects in Winchester, Loudoun County

Bell Atlantic Launches Three Fiber-Optic Projects in Winchester, Loudoun County

Company Invests over $685,000 to Expand, Upgrade Local Phone Service

September 21, 1999


Paul Miller,

WINCHESTER, Va. - Bell Atlantic is investing nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in Loudoun County and Winchester in three separate projects designed to upgrade the local telephone network and provide advanced telecommunications services to its customers.

"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 both 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, which involves the placement of over four miles of fiber-optic cable, will accommodate the high growth along Routes 7 and 641 in the Ashburn area of Loudoun County. The job, expected to be completed next March, will cost $345,400.

Bell Atlantic is also placing about one mile of fiber-optic cable in the Ashburn South area of the county to serve new residential developments in Cameron Chase, Farmwell Hunt and Ryan's Park. The cost of that project, slated for completion by the end of this year, will cost
over $245,000.

The third project involves the installation of a 2.6-mile fiber-optic ring to serve the Winchester Medical Center. The $95,000 job will be finished next month.

The new technology being deployed in these areas will allow Bell Atlantic to expand its 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:

  • Annual spending on Bell Atlantic's network in Virginia is up by more than a third in just two years. Last year the company invested over $597 million, versus $443 million in 1996.
  • At the end of 1998, Bell Atlantic - Virginia 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 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 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 a hundred carriers 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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