Bell Atlantic Makes $4 Million Holiday Gift to Students
Company's New IDEALS Network to Connect D.C. Schools
and Libraries to Internet
December 11, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Students in the District's public schools are receiving
the endless learning opportunities provided by the Internet, thanks to
a major commitment from Bell Atlantic.
The company today unveiled its new IDEALS (Information Delivery for
Education at Libraries and Schools) network, a $4 million effort to
wire every Washington, D.C. public school and library to the Internet
and local computer networks.
"Bell Atlantic IDEALS will make advanced computer networks and high
technology commonplace in our public schools and libraries," said
William Freeman, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - Washington.
"Our initiative will work hand-in-hand with other projects, such as
NetDay, to bring technological parity to our educational institutions.
"This project is moving D.C. public schools and libraries out of the
technological dark ages. Principals, teachers, students and
librarians are receiving a critical tool needed to succeed in the 21st
Bell Atlantic is installing high-capacity circuits, Integrated Services
Digital Network (ISDN) lines and Switched Multimegabit Data Service
(SMDS) to provide fast, high-bandwidth voice and data communications to
D.C. schools and libraries.
Dynamic Concepts, Inc. and Symbiont, Inc., two District-based
certified minority firms, are assisting Bell Atlantic as
subcontractors on the project. The group has wired more than 50
schools since September, and expects to complete the job by July,
"Nothing can do more to enhance school reform and nurture the academic
hopes and dreams of our children than extensive access to the latest
technology," said D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, Jr. "We are very grateful
to William Freeman and Bell Atlantic for their visionary leadership in
developing and implementing the Bell Atlantic IDEALS program."
In 1996, Bell Atlantic contributed an initial $1 million for the
program to the Telecommunications Infrastructure Assistance Fund.
This fund was established in connection with a D.C. Public Service
Commission (PSC) order that allowed the company to be regulated more
competitively. The company added another million-dollar installment
in January, 1997 and will donate an additional $1 million in each of
the next two years. Money for the wiring is distributed from the
fund, which is managed by a board of directors consisting of
representatives from the PSC, the Library Board, the D.C. Public
School System, the Office of the Mayor and Bell Atlantic - Washington.
The money is earmarked to wire all 150 D.C. public schools and 27
public libraries. Half of the money will be used for network
investment; the remaining 50 percent will be used for computers,
training and technical support.
"These types of public-private partnerships can truly help children
improve their performance and help our school system become a model for
the nation," Freeman said. "Throughout our history we have helped our
community, but this effort is a wonderful way to do something that will
have a meaningful impact for years to come."
The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and
NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications, information and
entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and
5.8 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 21 countries.