GTE Internet surpasses 100,000 subscriber mark as company announces expansion plans

IRVING, Texas -- GTE today announced that it has become the first local telephone company to sign up more than 100,000 active Internet subscribers since GTE introduced its nationwide Internet access service last July. In addition, the company said it will double, and in many cases quadruple by July, the amount of dial-up capacity in all 381 markets where it provides GTE Internet Solutions service, paving the way for its customer base to increase to 400,000 by year end.

As part of its growth plan, GTE will also begin offering Internet access in 120 new markets over the next four months. Of the new markets, more than half will be located within GTE's wireline and wireless serving territory.

"This expansion, along with our ability to combine Internet access with other valuable GTE services such as long-distance, second telephone lines and ISDN on one bill, gives customers what they want, and positions GTE for amazing growth," said Jeff Clark, acting vice president-general manager of GTE's Internet business unit. "Our growth plan will benefit current and future customers, making GTE Internet Solutions one of the most reliable and widely available Internet access services in the country."

GTE Bundles Internet, Long-Distance Services

Customers in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, who subscribe to GTE's Internet and long-distance service can obtain unlimited monthly dial-up Internet access for $17.95 (discount good for one year) -- a 10 percent savings from the standard monthly rate of $19.95.

Under the expansion plan, more than 200,000 modems will be installed around the country, including key GTE markets where Internet demand is greatest. Of those modems, many will also be installed in markets where ample capacity exists, but significant future growth is expected. Modems will first be installed in the higher demand markets.

"Building a base of satisfied customers requires that our vision always be far ahead of the Internet demand curve," said Clark. "As a result, the capacity that we are installing over the next four months will satisfy short- and long-term needs, but we've only just begun. We pledge to provide GTE's Internet customers with service unsurpassed in the industry." (Editor's Note: See attached chart comparing GTE Internet Solutions to other Internet service providers.)

In February, GTE relocated its 24-hour-a-day customer support and technical help desk into a larger facility, tripling the number of calls that can be handled at one time.

GTE Targets Both Novice, Experienced Internet Customers

"Whereas some Internet service providers (ISPs) have focused on only the more sophisticated Internet users, we welcome all individuals who want to experience the power of the Internet, " said Clark. "Making customers' overall experience positive is paramount. So whether customers need help learning to use their browser, or want to learn how ISDN will make their home office more effective, we are ready to help."

With the increased ability to serve more customers, GTE will step up its advertising efforts with a heavier emphasis in its core markets, and continue to bundle its Internet services with other consumer and small business services.

In addition to its consumer dial-up service, business customers can also subscribe to a broad array of services including dedicated Internet access, web site hosting and development, corporate e-mail, Intranet and security services.

With GTE Internet Solutions, customers can access the Internet using a dial-up modem up to 28.8 kbps, dedicated lines operating at speeds of 56 kbps through 45 Mbps or an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) line up to 128 kbps. Consumers interested in signing up for GTE Internet Solutions should call 1-888-GTE-4555, or visit GTE Internet Solutions

Comparison of Internet Service Providers

(Monthly unlimited Internet
Access rate plan)
$19.95, and as
low as $17.95
with purchase
of GTE long
distance service
(discount good for one year)
(Number of local dial-up cities)
Speed of Connections
(High-speed ISDN support
Available at $39.95/month
$40 set up fee
Not availableNot availableNot available
(Apple Macintosh support)
YesYesNot AvailableYes
Personal Home Page
(5 MB Web space)
Free$4.95/monthNot availableNot available
Flexibility of Service
(Multiple mailbox availability)

(Multiple browser support)



Not available


Not available

Not available

Not available


1-800 Number National Access$4.50/hour$4.50/hour$5.95/hourNot available

With revenues of more than $21 billion in 1996, GTE is one of the largest publicly held telecommunications companies in the world. GTE is also the largest U.S.- based local telephone company and a leading cellular-service provider -- with wireline and wireless operations that form a market area covering about one third of the country's population. Additional information about GTE can be found on the Internet at GTE Additional information about GTE Internet Solutions, the company's dial-up and dedicated access Internet service, can be found at GTE Internet Solutions


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