Bell Atlantic to Deploys Fiber Optics and Electronics, Bringing Advanced Technology, Services to Downingtown Area

Bell Atlantic to Deploys Fiber Optics and Electronics, Bringing Advanced Technology, Services to Downingtown Area

Company Investing $431,000 to Expand, Upgrade Local Telephone Network

April 13, 1999

Media contact: Ells Edwards, 302-576-5340
Sharon Shaffer, 215-963-6200

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic is installing fiber-optic cable and state-of-the-art electronic equipment in the Downingtown area as part of a $431,000 project to upgrade the local telephone network and provide advanced telecommunications services to its customers.

The new cable will run along Peck Road and Route 113 in Downingtown. Construction is underway and is expected to be completed in June.

This new technology will allow Bell Atlantic to expand its ability to offer advanced high-speed data services and provides additional reliability and survivability in the Bell Atlantic network. Fiber-optic systems use hair- thin glass fibers and digital technology to deliver high quality telephone service along with high-capacity/high-speed voice and data transmission services.

"This project is the latest evidence that Bell Atlantic is meeting our commitment to deliver a state-of-the-art telecommunications network throughout Pennsylvania," said Daniel J. Whelan, president of Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania. "We are accelerating our construction schedules to provide rural and urban customers with high-speed access to the Internet, work-at-home capabilities, as well as a host of other innovative advanced services."

Whelan said Bell Atlantic has made major strides in deploying advanced technology in its network:

  • Annual spending on the Pennsylvania network nearly doubled from $539 million in 1995 to more than $961 million in 1998.

  • Miles of fiber-optic cable in the commonwealth increased by 66 percent from 474,450 in 1995 to 786,106 at the end of 1998.

  • Percentage of digital call-routing switches has grown from 90.3 percent in 1995 to 96 percent at the end of 1998.

  • Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm DSL was launched in Pennsylvania last fall. Infospeed DSL is a high-speed, always-on Internet access services which enables consumers to connect to cyberspace at speeds up to 100 times faster than today's fastest analog modems.

In addition, Bell Atlantic has spent tens of millions of dollars to open Pennsylvania's local telephone market to competition.

"We have irreversibly opened our markets to competition," Whelan said. "We can't force the long distance giants or anyone else to compete here, but anyone who genuinely wants to enter our markets can do so.

"Bell Atlantic is keeping its promises to Pennsylvania. We are building and enhancing a public telecommunications network in Pennsylvania that is the finest in the world and is a vital part of the commonwealth's economic infrastructure."

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

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