Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics, Electronics, Bringing Additional Advanced Technology, Services to West Philadelphia

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Bell Atlantic Deploys Fiber Optics,
Bringing Additional Advanced Technology,
to West Philadelphia

Company Invests $249,000 to Expand, Upgrade Local
Telephone Network

February 2, 2000


Ells Edwards,

Sharon Shaffer,

PHILADELPHIA -- Bell Atlantic has completed a $249,000 fiber-optic
project in West Philadelphia to upgrade the local telephone network and
provide additional broadband capability to its customers.

During the project Bell Atlantic installed about six miles of underground
and aerial fiber- optic cable and associated electronic equipment to ensure
that local health care facilities and schools have broadband availability.
The company is committed to provide broadband capability to all such
facilities in Pennsylvania by the end of this year. The fiber-optic cable
also provides additional 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:

  • Investment in the Pennsylvania network totaled nearly $2 billion in 1998
    and 1999.

  • Miles of fiber-optic cable in the commonwealth increased by 81 percent
    from 474,450 in 1995 to more than 863,000 in 1999.

  • 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 98.5 percent
    in 1999.

  • Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm DSL was launched in Pennsylvania in October
    1998. Infospeed DSL is a secure, high-speed, always-on Internet access
    service 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

"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 44 million telephone access lines and more than 11
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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