FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 1996size = +1>
BELL ATLANTIC TO BUILD LOCAL ON-RAMP
WISE COUNTY, VA - Beginning this summer, many southwest Virginians
won't face a toll on their trek into cyberspace.
"We plan to begin offering local internet access under our own
brand name with easy-to-use navigators and search engines," said
Hugh R. Stallard, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-Virginia.
Stallard's announcement came at a news conference today, hosted by U.S.
Rep. Rick Boucher, at Clinch Valley College.
While the internet has grown in popularity in recent years, it remains
out of reach for many rural users. Outside of the cities, hopping onto
the information superhighway often involves a long distance call. Bell
Atlantic's new service will eliminate that for a large number of its
southwest Virginia customers.
Southwest Virginia will be one of the first areas in Bell Atlantic's
mid-Atlantic region to receive the internet access service. "This
comes well before deployment to many of our urban markets," Stallard
Bell Atlantic will initially provide three server sites in southwest
Virginia: Roanoke, Blacksburg and the Norton/Wise area. Details about
the deployment are still being worked out.
Stallard praised Boucher for his vision and leadership in the passage of
the Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996. The long anticipated
legislation breaks down artificial barriers that have prevented companies
like Bell Atlantic from providing a full range of telecommunications
services to its customers.
"Congressman Boucher has succeeded in helping the rest of his peers
in Congress see what he has known all along - that opening up all aspects
of the telecommunications industry to fair and equitable competition will
speed up the delivery of advanced services to the American people,"
Bell Atlantic has been instrumental in pioneering several applications of
advanced technology in southwest Virginia. The company linked several
high schools and universities into a single virtual classroom, using
state-of-the-art interactive communications.
In addition, the company worked closely with Virginia Tech to give birth
to the widely-publicized Blacksburg Electronic Village. Using
sophisticated digital switching and a far-reaching fiber-optic network,
Bell Atlantic brought the townspeople of Blacksburg into the realm of
cyberspace. It was one of the first such efforts of its kind in the
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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