Bell Atlantic's Network Investment in Maryland Nears $600 Million in 1999

Bell Atlantic's Network Investment in Maryland Nears $600 Million in 1999

Company Expands Fiber Optics, Digital Technologies in State

December 30, 1999


Sandra Arnette,

BALTIMORE - Maryland 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. The company spent $598 million to modernize, expand and upgrade its vast telecommunications network serving the state - an investment of $11.5 million a week.

"As this decade ends, we've delivered on our promise to equip Maryland with an advanced telecommunications network that will help the state, its businesses, schools, libraries and consumers be successful in the new millennium," said Sherry F. Bellamy, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - Maryland.

Bell Atlantic used most of its construction expenditures to expand fiber-optic facilities and to continue adding the latest technology to its 200 call-routing centers throughout the state.

"We added 73,000 miles of fiber-optics in Maryland this year, bringing the total in our Maryland network to more than 480,000 miles," said Bellamy. "In addition, 99 percent of our lines are served by digital switching centers, allowing us to bring 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. "Clearly, Bell Atlantic is committed to providing Marylanders with top-notch service and high-quality products," Bellamy said.

In addition to deploying the latest technology, Bell Atlantic spent tens of millions of dollars to open Maryland's local telephone market to competition. "We have irreversibly opened the doors to competition," Bellamy 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."

Bellamy noted other milestones the company achieved in Maryland during 1999:

  • Bell Atlantic expanded availability of its high-speed Internet access service, InfospeedSM DSL (digital subscriber line), to additional communities in the Baltimore metropolitan area and the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. Infospeed DSL provides an always-on connection to the Internet with no dialing, no busy signals and no waiting.
  • The company introduced National 4-1-1 directory assistance service in Maryland, offering callers a simple way to obtain accurate listings anywhere in the nation at affordable prices.

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 countries.