Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Electronics Bringing Additional Advanced Technology, Services to Washington County

Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Electronics Bringing Additional Advanced Technology, Services to Washington County

Company Invests $550,000 to Expand, Upgrade Local Telephone Network

December 10, 1999

Media contact:

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

WASHINGTON, Pa -- Bell Atlantic is nearing completion of a $550,000 fiber-optic project in Washington and neighboring communities to upgrade the local telephone network and provide additional broadband capability to its customers.

During the 18-month project Bell Atlantic has installed approximately 13 miles of fiber- optic cable and associated electronic equipment along Route 18 in the Washington area. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of December. The fiber-optic cable also provides additional reliability and survivability in the Bell Atlantic network. Fiber- optic systems use hair-thin glass strands and digital technology to deliver high quality telephone services along with high-capacity/high-speed voice and date 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 will be 100 percent by the end of the year 2000, having grown from 90.3 percent in 1995 to 96 percent at the end of 1998.


  • Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL was launched in Pennsylvania in October, 1998. Infospeed DSL is a secure, high-speed, always-on Internet access services that 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 more than 43 million telephone access lines and more than 10 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.