GTE introduces new self-install DSL kit, paving way to triple DSL subscribers this year.

IRVING, Texas - GTE today announced that it has begun shipping to customers its new digital subscriber line (DSL) self-installation kits that make it easier and quicker to enjoy the benefits of high-speed Internet access.

The kit, containing a DSL external modem, microfilters and installation instructions are being mailed to new DSL customers in the 17 states where GTE offers service. Upon receipt of the kit and activation of the service, customers follow step-by-step instructions to install the kits' contents, and are typically up and running on the Internet in less than one hour.

Broadband Boom: GTE Targets More Than 200,000 DSL Customers By Year's End

"The demand for the broadband benefits of DSL continues to grow rapidly among veteran and first-time computer users," said Rob McCoy, president of retail markets for GTE Network Services, which currently has more than 75,000 DSL subscribers. "Our attractive and competitively priced DSL packages, combined with the simplicity of self-installation, will enable us to nearly triple our subscriber base by the end of the year."

Since introducing its DSL service in late 1998, GTE Network Services, the company's local exchange carrier, has signed up more than 320 national and regional Internet service providers that resell GTE's DSL service. By the end of the year, GTE expects to have a total of more than 200,000 DSL customers, offer DSL from 1,000 wire centers, including central offices (CO's), remote CO's and digital loop carriers, and have over 8 million ADSL-qualified telephone access lines.

National Rollout of Self-Install Kit Based On Successful Trials

For the past three months, hundreds of customers in Texas have participated in extensive testing of GTE's self-installation process.

"Customers like the simplicity of the self-install kit and the freedom it gives them to install their DSL service on their own time," said Jeff Bolton, director of data access products and services for GTE. "We have patterned the kit to be the kind of guide that does not require technical experience so now customers no longer have to juggle their schedules in order to meet a technician at their residence or office."

Previously, customers had to schedule in-home installations with telephone company technicians, and depending on market demand, it could have taken several days to schedule a time for a technician to perform the installation. For an additional $80 installation fee, customers can have a technician install their microfilters and DSL modem for them. Customers receive their Internet access software and installation support from their ISP.

Installation Made Easy

After ordering DSL service, customers are given an in-service date and mailed the self-installation kit, all within five days. Upon receipt, they install a small microfilter in all telephone jacks that support an analog phone or fax machine, install the external modem and install their Internet access software.

The microfilter separates voice and data messages, which allows customers to talk on the phone and surf the Web simultaneously - on the same phone line.

GTE continues to offer the industry's widest and most flexible array of DSL products and services. It's DSL service packages include speeds up to 1.5 megabits (Mbps) per second, or 50 times faster than a 28.8 kilobit per second (kpbs) modem. Prices for GTE's DSL service begin at $49.95 per month, including Internet access from GTE.net. Prices vary when ordering Internet access from other ISPs. Apart from its consumer and small/medium-sized business offer, GTE Internetworking, a unit of GTE Corp., offers a national aggregation and transport service for other Internet service providers.

GTE Network Services currently offers DSL in 39 markets in California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Approximately 60 percent of GTE's local phone customers currently live or work in areas where service is available. Customers who order GTE's DSL service incur a one-time $60 activation fee, and depending upon which Internet service provider is selected, nominal ISP fees are incurred.

For more information on GTE's entire DSL service offerings, call toll-free 1-877-483-5070 or visit http://www.gte.com/aboutgte.docs/adslserviceofferings.html. A Webcast demonstration of GTE's DSL capabilities can be accessed at http://www.gte.com/dsl/resdemo.

About GTE

With 1999 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry's broadest arrays of products and services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 18 states, as well as nationwide long-distance, directory, and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. Outside the United States, the company serves customers on five continents. Additional information about GTE can be obtained at http://www.gte.com.

GTE's community and philanthropic programs target excellence in education, particularly math, science, technology and literacy. GTE also supports job training, delivery of health and human services, and the arts. The company's newest program is GTE Reads, a public charity designed to create public awareness, increase fundraising and support organizations dedicated to improving America's literacy levels. GTE customers can contribute to GTE Reads by checking off a box on their bill. Others can contribute through GTE Superpages.com (http://www.superpages.com).

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