Vice President Gore to Connect with Buffalo Area Students via Bell Atlantic Distance Learning Technology

Vice President Gore to Connect with Buffalo Area Students via Bell Atlantic Distance Learning Technology

CityNet Project Highlights Efforts to Connect All Americans
to 21st Century

Feb. 26, 1998

Media contacts:

Cliff Lee


WASHINGTON -- Vice President Al Gore today will demonstrate a
state-of-the-art video and data network that provides distance
learning and job training programs to low-income and rural residents
of western New York.

The Buffalo-based telecommunications network, known as CityNet, was
developed by the City of Buffalo and Buffalo State College with
funding and technical support from Bell Atlantic. It is one of 10
projects featured today as part of a national conference on efforts to
bring advanced telecommunications to disadvantaged urban and rural
areas of the country.

The conference, "Connecting All Americans for the 21st Century --
Telecommunications Links in Low Income & Rural Communities," runs
through Friday (Feb. 27) at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington,
D.C., and is sponsored by the Public Utility Law Project. The CityNet
demonstration featuring the vice president will begin at 10:30 a.m.
today at the hotel.

Vice President Gore will interact with students and community
representatives from Buffalo and rural western New York who use
CityNet's fiber-optic, high-speed video network. More than 70
providers of economic development, education and social service
programs are linked via CityNet.

The demonstration will showcase Bell Atlantic-supported efforts to
bring distance learning and telemedicine services to rural and
low-income Americans.

With the help of $1.9 million in financial and technical support from
Bell Atlantic, CityNet's video and data network provides students and
others with access to job training, career counseling, school-to-work
programs, welfare-to-work programs, vocational assessment, GED
programs, professional development programs, placement services, and
small business development and counseling programs.

"Bell Atlantic has been extremely successful in providing customers
with a cost effective way of enhancing educational programs throughout
the Northeast region," said Joseph Lucatorto, vice president of Data
and Video Services for Bell Atlantic. "Over 700 schools are
inter-connected in the Bell Atlantic service area and we are expecting
significant growth in interactive video services this year."

Three of the 10 model projects demonstrated at the conference were
developed with Bell Atlantic financial support and use Bell Atlantic
technology to connect individuals, organizations and communities.

In addition to CityNet, Bell Atlantic demonstration projects include:

  • "The Adirondack Area Network," a network of 45 sites in the
    predominantly rural Adirondack region north of Albany, N.Y. The
    project uses Bell Atlantic frame-relay technology to create video and
    data links between the sites for distance learning and telemedicine.
    Rural hospitals and schools will benefit through access to
    state-of-the-art programs. Bell Atlantic provided $1.8 million in
    funding for this effort.

  • An Internet initiative at Logan Elementary School, Baltimore
    County, Md. This project has wired the third-grade classrooms of this
    working-class, low-income suburban school to the Internet and has
    provided several multi-media computers for the classes. Additionally,
    each student and the third-grade teachers have been provided with
    computers and Internet access in their homes. Bell Atlantic's ISDN
    (Integrated Services Digital Network) technology is used to speed up
    these Internet connections. Assistance in the form of a $1.8 million
    in funding and in-kind services was provided by Bell Atlantic to help
    launch the program.

Bell Atlantic has supported similar efforts throughout its service
area and will continue to fund projects that use telecommunication
technologies to solve problems facing Americans in the areas of
education, health care and economic development.

Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 40.5 million telephone access lines and six 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 21 countries.