Bell Atlantic's Network Investment in Vermont Yields Solid Results during 1999

Bell Atlantic's Network Investment in Vermont Yields Solid Results During 1999

More Than $53 Million Invested This Year; Company Notes Other Vermont Milestones

December 28, 1999


Joan Jamieson

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Vermont 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 more than $53 million to
modernize, expand and upgrade the vast telecommunications network that
serves the Green Mountain State.

"As the 20th century ends, we are proud to look back on our more
than 100--year history of helping Vermonters communicate through
network technology. We will continue to provide an advanced
telecommunications network to support Vermont's success in the new
Millennium," said Bell Atlantic Vermont President and CEO Louise

While meeting the increasing demand for telephone service was a major
part of the company's 1999 investment in Vermont, much of the funding
was used to expand the company's fiber--optic facilities. This included
completion of several SONET inter--office rings, a technology that allows
phone service to continue even if a break in the fiber occurs somewhere in
the ring.

Bell Atlantic's 85 call--routing centers throughout the state already use the
latest digital technology.

Bell Atlantic added about 2,500 miles of fiber--optic cable in Vermont,
bringing the state's overall fiber--optic network to about 50,000 miles -- or
enough to encircle the Earth twice. 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.

McCarren noted other milestones the company achieved in Vermont
during 1999:

  • The company introduced National 4--1--1 directory assistance service in
    Vermont, offering callers a simple way to obtain accurate listings
    anywhere in the nation at affordable prices.
  • Bell Atlantic began offering Call Trace service on a "per
    activation" basis so that customers could trace harassing calls
    without first subscribing to the service.
  • The company eliminated the Virtual ISDN (Integrated Services Digital
    Network) charge, making ISDN, a high--speed voice and data service,
    more affordable in many parts of Vermont.
  • The company completed installation of ADSL equipment that will
    provide high--speed Internet connections for business and residential
    customers within much of Chittenden County during the first quarter of

In addition to deploying the latest technology, Bell Atlantic has spent
millions of dollars to open Vermont's local telephone market to
competition. Bell Atlantic is required to open local markets before it can
gain federal permission to sell long distance in a given state. In Vermont,
more than 200 companies have requested and been given permission to
enter the market and sell local or in--state long distance phone service in
direct competition with Bell Atlantic.

On Dec. 22 the Federal Communications Commission approved Bell
Atlantic's application to sell long distance in New York, making it the first
regional Bell company allowed to sell long distance in its home region.

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