Bell Atlantic Wiring Low-Income Urban, Rural Areas

Bell Atlantic Wiring Low-Income Urban, Rural Areas

Conference Highlights Effort to Connect All Americans to 21st Century

Feb. 23, 1998

Media contacts:

Cliff Lee


WASHINGTON -- Bell Atlantic's efforts to bring state-of-the-art
distance learning and telemedicine services to rural and low-income
Americans will be highlighted this week during a national conference
on telecommunications technologies.

The conference, "Connecting All Americans for the 21st Century --
Telecommunications Links in Low Income & Rural Communities," runs
Tuesday through Friday (Feb. 24-27) at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in
Washington, D.C., and is sponsored by the Public Utility Law Project.

Existing and evolving communications technologies will be examined
during the conference and participants will map ways of using them to
boost education, health care and economic development in poor rural
and urban sections of the country.

The conference will feature demonstrations of 10 projects developed
through public-private partnerships to provide disadvantaged areas
access to the new technologies. Three of the model projects were
developed with Bell Atlantic financial support and use Bell Atlantic
technology to connect individuals, agencies and communities.

Among the demonstration projects are:

  • Buffalo CityNet -- a high-speed, fiber-optic network connecting
    providers of social service, education and economic development
    programs in Western New York's low-income urban and rural areas. Bell
    Atlantic has provided $1.5 million to fund a video and data network
    that provides students and other individuals with increased
    opportunities for employment and job training.

  • The Adirondack Area Network -- a network of 45 sites in the
    predominantly rural Adirondack region north of Albany, N.Y. The
    project uses Bell Atlantic frame-relay technology to create video and
    data links between the sites for distance learning and telemedicine.
    Rural hospitals and schools will benefit through access to
    state-of-the-art programs. Bell Atlantic provided $1.8 million to
    support this effort.

  • An Internet initiative at Logan Elementary School, Baltimore County,
    Md. The third-grade classrooms of this working-class, low-income
    suburban school have been wired for access to the Internet and
    multi-media computers have been provided for the classes. In addition,
    each student and the third-grade teachers have been provided with
    computers and Internet access in their homes. Bell Atlantic's ISDN
    (Integrated Services Digital Network) technology is used to speed up
    these Internet connections. Support in the form of $1.8 million in
    funding and in-kind services was provided by Bell Atlantic to help
    launch the program.

Demonstrations of these projects will be presented throughout the

Bell Atlantic has supported additional efforts throughout its service
area and will continue to fund projects that use telecommunication
technologies to solve problems facing Americans in the areas of
education, health care and economic development.

Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 40.5 million telephone access lines and six 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.