Bell Atlantic's Investment in Virginia Tops Half-Billion Dollars in 1999

Bell Atlantic's Investment in Virginia Tops Half-Billion Dollars in 1999

Company Expands Fiber-Optics, Digital Technologies in State

December 28, 1999


Paul Miller,

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia consumers and businesses are served by
one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in the country,
thanks to an aggressive network investment program Bell Atlantic

continued during 1999. By the end of the year, the company will have
spent approximately $550 million to modernize, expand and upgrade the
vast telecommunications network that serves the Old Dominion.

"During the past year, we continued to aggressively expand our
state--of--the--art telecommunications network in Virginia," said
Robert Woltz, acting 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."

Bell Atlantic earmarked most of its 1999 construction expenditures to
expand fiber--optic facilities and to continue adding the latest technology
to the company's switching centers throughout the state.

"We have over 610,000 miles of fiber--optics in Virginia and more
is going in each week," Woltz said. "Furthermore, more than
98 percent of our switching centers are now digital,
bringing all the latest services to our customers."

Fiber--optic systems use laser--generated light pulses and digital
technology to provide greater capacity, higher transmission speeds and
better quality for voice, video and data transmitted over the network. One
hair--thin strand of fiber can potentially carry tens of
thousands of telephone calls at one time.

In addition to deploying the latest technology, Bell Atlantic spent tens of
millions of dollars to open Virginia's local telephone market to

"We have irreversibly opened the doors to competition,"
Woltz said. "We have demonstrated that we will work closely with
anyone who wishes to enter our markets. But, we can't force the long
distance giants, or anyone else for that matter, to compete here."

Woltz noted other milestones the company achieved in Virginia during

  • Bell Atlantic expanded availability of its high--speed Internet access
    service, InfospeedSM DSL, to additional communities in Northern
    Virginia and just this month began taking test orders in some parts of
    Richmond. Infospeed DSL provides an always--on connection to the
    Internet with no dialing, no busy signals and no waiting. DSL provides
    customers with Internet access up to 126 times faster than today's fastest
    analog modems.

  • The company introduced National 4--1--1 directory assistance service in
    Virginia, offering callers a simple way to obtain accurate listings
    anywhere in the nation at affordable prices.

  • Bell Atlantic provided approximately $1 million in grants to schools
    throughout the commonwealth for distance--learning initiatives. To date,
    Bell Atlantic has contributed nearly $6 million to this effort in Virginia.

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