West Virginia Northern Community College Joins High-Speed, Statewide Communications Network

West Virginia Northern Community College Joins High-Speed,
Statewide Communications Network

Technology to Enhance Videoconferencing and Distance

February 2, 1999


For Bell Atlantic:

Harry Mitchell,


Willa Knollinger,
304-233-5900 x4210

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Bell Atlantic and West Virginia Northern
Community College have joined forces to help the school make wider use
of interactive video conferencing and distance learning to serve its

West Virginia Northern is the state's second college or university to link
to Bell Atlantic's WEST VIRGINIA 2001 network. This advanced
network gives colleges and universities more flexibility in managing
telecommunications at remote campuses, while also providing for
widespread digital video conferencing and distance learning

"West Virginia Northern is taking a leadership role in harnessing
telecommunications technology in the pursuit of educational excellence,
and we're happy to help make it happen," said Dennis Bone, president
and CEO of Bell Atlantic - West Virginia. "Advanced
telecommunications will offer West Virginians increased and faster
electronic access to educational opportunities such as those offered by
West Virginia Northern."

West Virginia Northern President Dr. Linda S. Dunn acknowledged Bell
Atlantic for its support of high-tech programs at the college. "We
welcome this opportunity to team with Bell Atlantic, an active backer of
education in West Virginia," said Dunn. "As an educational resource
center, we see this partnership as an opportunity to better utilize the tools
that will foster technological growth in our area."

West Virginia Northern already offers Internet courses in biology,
science, philosophy and political science. Campuses in New Martinsville
and Wheeling are currently linked by interactive video and data systems,
and a new telecommunications classroom is under construction at the
Weirton campus.

Bell Atlantic will connect these campuses to the WEST VIRGINIA 2001
network. This network combines fiber optics and the latest ATM
(asynchronous transfer mode) digital technology to transmit voice, data
and video communications at extremely high speeds over a single phone

Bell Atlantic provided $20,000 in special equipment so West Virginia
Northern could make the required network connections. "This state-of-
the-art equipment will allow us to expand the number of courses,
seminars and conferences we can offer," said Dunn. West Virginia
Northern has begun testing the new technology, and students will begin
using it at the start of the fall term.

'WEST VIRGINIA 2001' -- A Next-Century Network, Today

The $20-million WEST VIRGINIA 2001 network was launched by Bell
Atlantic in late 1997. WEST VIRGINIA 2001 offers state government
agencies, colleges and universities and health-care providers a wide
variety of high-speed uses, including video distance learning,
videoconferencing and data sharing among network users.

The West Virginia Legislature is currently considering a plan to expand
the network to every county courthouse for courtroom videoconferencing,
high-speed data applications and high-speed Internet access. The single
network connection also will allow each courthouse to use the West
Virginia Tax Department's new Integrated Assessment System.

When this project is completed, West Virginia will be among the first
governments in the world to deploy this technology over such a wide

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 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.