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Bell Atlantic Fiber-Optic Network Passes Five Million
Mile Mark; Leads Nation
Businesses and Consumers from Maine to Virginia Served by
March 30, 1999
NEW YORK -- Envision a strand of fiber-optic cable following the
Equator and wrapping around the Earth 200 times. Or imagine the same
fiber reaching from the Earth to the Moon and back 10 times.
This is the distance that would be covered by all of the fiber-optic cable
now deployed in Bell Atlantic's network, if it were taken out of
underground and aerial conduits and stretched end to end. Earlier this
year, the company passed the five-million-mile milestone in its aggressive
deployment of fiber optics and other advanced technologies. This network
deployment strategy is designed to support the company's competitive,
new product introduction and service delivery strategies.
With this milestone, Bell Atlantic continues to have more fiber optics in
its network than any other local or long distance company in the United
States, according to the most recent Federal Communications Commission
"This milestone demonstrates Bell Atlantic's commitment to providing its
customers with the most advanced and reliable network available today,"
said Paul Lacouture, Bell Atlantic president for Network Services. "This
very competitive market demands that our customers be served by the best
technology available - and we're delivering.
"Reaching this milestone before anyone else in the industry proves that
we've anticipated the needs of our customers," he added.
Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin strands of specially conditioned glass and
laser-generated light pulses to transmit high volumes of voice telephone
calls, data transmissions and video signals at the speed of light. These
systems use advanced digital technology to deliver high-quality basic
telephone service and precise transmission of data and video information.
Single strands of glass fiber can carry more than 8,000 simultaneous
telephone calls and data transmissions, far exceeding the capacity of
traditional copper cables. That capacity increases when more advanced
electronics are added at the beginning and terminating points of the fiber.
Having this capacity available makes it easier to serve growing businesses
and consumers who need additional lines or data transmission capacity.
Bell Atlantic continues to deploy fiber-optic systems linking its call-
routing centers in cities and towns throughout its service area in 13 states
and Washington, D.C. These links form a vast network of high-speed
telecommunications highways between cities and towns from Maine to
Virginia. Company technicians have also placed many of the systems
directly into buildings within communities to deliver high bandwidth
services to business customers. In addition, Bell Atlantic uses fiber optics
in many residential neighborhoods to provide additional call-carrying
capacity as neighborhoods grow and as consumers add second and third
telephone lines at home.
Bell Atlantic also builds many of its fiber systems using a special design
that automatically re-routes calls when part of the link is damaged. This
network architecture, known as self-healing SONET rings, renders cuts in
the network invisible to customers since calls are automatically routed in
the reverse direction on the fiber ring, and delivered to the destination
"When you combine our advanced transmission network with our system
of call-switching centers where more than 98 percent have already been
converted to advanced digital technology, you have a network poised to
serve our customers well into the new Millennium," said Lacouture.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 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.