Bell Atlantic, ACSI agree to link networks for frame relay data services

Businesses in Baltimore get first offering

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ARLINGTON, Va.- Businesses soon will have a new option for linking their local area networks over wide geographic areas as a result of an agreement between Bell Atlantic and Maryland-based American Communications Services, Inc. (ACSI), the companies said today.

The agreement with ACSI allows Bell Atlantic to provide frame-relay data services to its business customers who have a need to communicate across any individual regional calling area (Local Access Transport Area or LATA) and state boundaries. Bell Atlantic is prohibited from carrying calls beyond any individual regional calling area, regardless of whether the call is voice or data. Under the agreement, calls between regional calling areas would be handled by ACSI.

The frame relay service will be available next month in Baltimore, and will be introduced in 1997 throughout much of Bell Atlantic's region.

"This agreement will help us better serve our customers. That's the bottom line," said Pat Hanley, president of Bell Atlantic Carrier Services. "Bell Atlantic now has the ability to develop for our customers new, broader-based solutions to their data transmission needs." A company in Baltimore that wants to integrate its local area network with its branch in New York, for example, can now do so by one-stop shopping at Bell Atlantic or ACSI.

Hanley added that the agreement, along with many other Bell Atlantic interconnection agreements, with competitive local exchange carriers continues to demonstrate our commitment to providing a variety of competitive offerings to the local market that meet the intent of the Telecommunications Act.

Bob Ryan, president of ACSI's Advanced Data Services, said this agreement will allow his company to expand its services "more quickly to customers who require multi-LATA, multi-state and multi-LEC networks. He added that "ACSI can meet the explosive demand for frame relay at competitive rates."

Exchange access frame relay service is a medium-speed packet switched data service. It allows for the exchange of variable length frames, or packets of data. Frames are relayed by virtual connections. They travel a fixed path through the network to each virtual connection. A network-to-network (NNI) interface specifies how a switch sends and receives data over an interexchange carrier's frame-relay network. The NNI is offered at access speeds from 56 kilobits per second (kbps) to 1.536 megabits (mbps).

The Bell Atlantic Carrier Services line of business provides switched, special and wireless access to Bell Atlantic's telecommunications network. Carrier Services also is developing new wireless services, such as personal communications services, new access services, such as Facilities Management Service, and increased network survivability through Bell Atlantic®IntelliLight®services.

Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new communications, entertainment and information industry. In the mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing high-growth national and international business opportunities in all phases of the industry.

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