Bell Atlantic First Regional Phone Company to Join Home Phoneline Networking Alliance

Bell Atlantic First Regional Phone Company to Join Home Phoneline Networking Alliance

Company Demonstrates Future of High-Speed Home Networking at PC Expo Using Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm


June 23, 1999

Media contact: Joan Rasmussen, Bell Atlantic
Judy Richardson, HomePNA
415-923-1660 or 617-491-9400

NEW YORK -- Recognizing the needs of the growing number of households with multiple computers, Bell Atlantic today becomes the first regional Bell company to join the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA), a consortium of industry leaders committed to establishing a universal standard for high-speed home networking using existing copper phone lines.

As more households get high-speed Internet access, home networking products will enable family members and people with home offices to connect multiple PCs to the Internet simultaneously so all can take advantage of that high speed. They also will be able to swap files between PCs, enjoy multi-player games and to share printers, fax machines and scanners.

This week, Bell Atlantic is demonstrating some of these advanced home networking capabilities using Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL (digital subscriber line) service and HomePNA compatible products at PC Expo in New York City.

"As the availability of high-speed Internet access takes off, we're seeing more and more consumers who have two or more computers at home that they want to network so every computer user can take advantage of our Infospeed DSL service," said Amy McIntosh, president of Consumer Data Services for Bell Atlantic. "HomePNA is leading the way to developing affordable, interoperable and consumer- friendly home networking products."

HomePNA membership includes more than 90 companies, spanning the networking, telecommunications, hardware, software and consumer electronics industries. As a participating member in HomePNA, Bell Atlantic will contribute to the development of the high-speed home network of the future.

"HomePNA is pleased to add Bell Atlantic to our growing number of member companies," said Cyrus Namazi , chairperson of HomePNA. "Each new member brings us closer to our goal of achieving industry standardization through widespread deployment."

HomePNA was established in June 1998 to ensure adoption of a single, unified phone line networking industry standard and to rapidly bring to market a range of interoperable home networking solutions using high- bandwidth. HomePNA compatible products connect multiple PCs, printers, fax machines and scanners using existing phone lines. There is no wiring back to a central hub, such as in a corporate computer network, and the user can simultaneously access the Internet and make phone calls on the same line.

"Our Infospeed DSL customers have told us they want to use home networking and as our deployment expands this year, we want to ensure that we can support this need for our high-speed Internet access customers throughout our Maine to Virginia service area," said McIntosh.

Infospeed DSL is Bell Atlantic's brand name for ADSL, or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line technology, which provides Internet access to consumers at speeds up to 126 times faster than that afforded by a 56 kilobits per second (Kbps) modem. The digital high-speed service provides an "always-on" link to the global Internet. By taking advantage of unused capacity available in existing telephone lines, the technology allows consumers to use a single phone line to send faxes or make phone calls while they're surfing the Internet.

The service is now available in parts of Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh, northern New Jersey and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The service will be available in July in New York City and in additional communities this summer and fall. Bell Atlantic will deploy Infospeed DSL in areas serving 8 million households by the end of 1999 and 16 million by the end of 2000.

The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance is an incorporated, non-profit association of industry-leading companies working together to help ensure adoption of a single, unified phoneline networking industry standard and rapidly bring to market a range of interoperable home networking solutions.

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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