NEWARK, Del. -- The state of Delaware vaulted into the Information Age this weekend, thanks to Bell Atlantic. The company completed installation of a new $6 million digital switch in Newark, making Delaware only the second state in the nation with all telephone offices served by digital switches. West Virginia, also served by Bell Atlantic, was the first state to go all-digital.
"This is a major milestone for Delaware and Bell Atlantic," said Joshua W. Martin III, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-Delaware. "Bell Atlantic achieved this goal more than a year ahead of our commitment under the Telecommunications Technology Investment Act (TTIA) to install digital switching equipment in all Delaware telephone offices by 1998."
The new switch will allow 80,000 customers in the Newark area to use advanced services such as ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), which provides high-speed access to the information superhighway.
"Now all of our customers can take advantage of the very latest in voice, data and video capabilities regardless of who they are or where they live," Martin said. "Our new switch in Newark will have a major impact on improving communications in the home and on the way business is conducted.
"Because of the TTIA, Bell Atlantic has incentives to invest $250 million in Delaware's telephone network over a five-year period. Modernizing our state's telecommunications network is the single most important element in today's information economy, and will affect every aspect of society," Martin said.
Bell Atlantic has moved aggressively to meet its commitments under the act. The company has surpassed expectations by spending $175 million in the last 2 1/2 years on digital switches, high-tech signaling systems and thousands of miles of fiber optic cable that connect communities from Rockland to Rehoboth.
In addition to ISDN capability, the new digital switch in Newark provides advantages over analog technology such as higher quality and faster transmission speeds. Newark area customers served by the following exchanges will benefit from the new technology:
- 292, 366, 368, 451, 453, 454, 455, 456, 457, 731, 733, 737 and 738.
Customers may notice a slight difference in the way their telephone service sounds. For example, dial tone now is free of clicks and background sounds. The clicking sound on Call Waiting has been replaced by a soft tone. On long-distance calls, customers no longer hear a clicking sound as the call is being completed.
Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new communications, entertainment and information industry. In the mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing high-growth national and international business opportunities in all phases of the industry.