Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing New Technology, Services to Connellsville, Mt. Pleasant Areas

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Bringing New Technology, Services to Connellsville, Mt. Pleasant Areas

Company Invests $320,000 to Expand, Upgrade Local Telephone Service

July 13, 1999

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

CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic is installing new fiber-optic cable between the towns of Connellsville in Fayette County and Mt. Pleasant in Westmoreland County as part of a $320,000 project to upgrade the local telephone network and provide advanced broadband services to its customers.

This new technology will allow Bell Atlantic to expand its ability to serve growing residential areas and business customers located between Connellsville and Mt. Pleasant. The new cable containing between 144 and 216 fibers will run along State Route 711 to Scottdale and then on Route 819 into Connellsville for a total of about 10 miles. Construction is expected to be completed in October.

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.

"Bell Atlantic is keeping its promises to Pennsylvania," Whelan said. "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."

In addition to deploying the latest technology, 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 at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine 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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