Bell Atlantic First to Offer Internet Providers and Businesses Single-Number Access

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Bell Atlantic First to Offer Internet Providers and Businesses Single-Number Access

Intelligent Network Lets Surfers Access the Web, Road Warriors and Telecommuters Reach LANs Using Vanity Number, Regardless of Location

March 22, 2000


Jim Smith,

NEW YORK - Road warriors, consumers and telecommuters no longer have to keep a list of all the different phone numbers they need to dial in to their Internet service providers or corporate networks.

And mobile surfers will be spared the agony of reaching a busy signal time after time when they dial jammed local access numbers for their ISP. From now on, all they'll need is one phone number to get through.

Bell Atlantic is the first company to offer Internet service providers (ISPs) and corporate network managers the ability to offer their customers single-number, dial-up access for the entire Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, or any combination of regional calling areas.

Bell Atlantic's Advanced Intelligent Network will connect customers, toll-free, to their ISP or local area network regardless of where they are. Congested local dial-up numbers will be a thing of the past.

"We've harnessed our network's best resources to solve the two nastiest problems of remote access - where to dial and whether the line is busy," said Ed McGuinness, vice president of marketing for the Enterprise Business Group. "This solution fundamentally changes the nature of remote access."

"Internet users and mobile teleworkers can forget about looking up local access numbers, entering them as dialing instructions and then switching back and forth based on where they are," said Ed McGuinness, "And the days of local busy signals and redialing are over, too. Single number access will automatically connect an ISP's customers to a point of presence they can then engineer so that it is never clogged with traffic. Road warriors will have clear access to their LANs."

Two varieties of the service, Enhanced ISDN PRI Hub Service and Internet Protocol Routing Service (IPRS) with single number routing, both travel over Integrated Services Digital Network Primary Rate Interface (ISDN PRI) links. With the Enhanced ISDN PRI Hub service, Bell Atlantic provides the network service while the modem and the customer performs the server functions. With the IPRS version, Bell Atlantic provides both components and manages the network.

Because the new service allows Bell Atlantic engineers to pre-route traffic through the company's interoffice network, it is expected to relieve the kind of network congestion that can be caused by high volumes of Internet access calls made during peak voice calling periods, such as snow days.

When a customer dials the access number, Bell Atlantic's Advanced Intelligent Network will direct the connection over a high-speed data line to that ISP's local point of presence, or forward it, toll-free, to another nearby point of presence so that the call will go through. The ISP or corporate network can maintain a high-speed data connection to a single point of presence within each regional calling area, eliminating the need to have a local telephone number in each Bell Atlantic central office or within each Bell Atlantic local calling area.

Customers have the option of using a number assigned by Bell Atlantic, which would be a 500-699-XXXX number, or one assigned by the North American Numbering Plan administrator, which would be an (area code)555-XXXX number, for calls within Bell Atlantic's Northeast and mid-Atlantic serving areas.

"This is a breakthrough in remote access for both Internet and business commerce," said Mark Wegleitner, chief technology officer for Bell Atlantic. "Bell Atlantic is the first regional telecommunications company to initiate this Advanced Intelligent Network solution. It was custom-designed by our own engineers and we think we've set the standard with this network architecture."

The Bell Atlantic single number access design establishes in all appropriate local central offices AIN routing paths for all remote access "500" numbers. Using these records, the network forwards calls to the appropriate hub over Bell Atlantic interoffice facilities. The call may pass through another sector hub before being delivered to the one central office within the regional calling area where the ISP or corporate network has its high-speed data presence. Once there, access is established.

ISPs and businesses gain several advantages from the service:

  • Branded "vanity" number that users can easily remember

  • Single point of interconnection for customers within each regional calling area or LATA (local access and transport area) rather than numerous local points of presence

  • Allows for handoff of traffic at fast, DS-3 speeds

  • Offers competitive pricing and extremely reliable service.

IPRS single number service is available throughout Bell Atlantic's serving area. Enhanced ISDN PRI Hub Service is currently available to ISPs and business customers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia with tariffs pending in the rest of the region. A technical networking description of the Enhanced ISDN PRI Hub Service and Internet Protocol Routing Service with single number routing service is available on request.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 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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