10.05.1998|Corporate

Bell Atlantic Introduces Infospeed DSL Service to the Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh Markets

Bell Atlantic Introduces Infospeed DSL Service to the Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh Markets

Launch Supported by Alcatel, Apple, Compaq, CompUSA, Dell, Globespan, Snap and Westell

New Pricing, Discounts and Innovative Marketing Programs for 'Always-On' Internet Access Services

October 5, 1998

Media contact: Larry Plumb, 703-295-4360
Joan Rasmussen, 703-974-8815

Group Photo at Press 
Conference WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Bell Atlantic Infospeed sm DSL service now is available in selected Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas. The company will make a high-speed, high-quality Internet connection an affordable and convenient possibility for millions of consumers in the coming weeks. The company also announced a new lower price for the basic service package -- $59.95 a month.

The digital high-speed service will provide an "always-on" link to the global Internet. No dialing. No busy signals. You're there, with one click of the mouse.

Computer Screen Infospeed DSL is Bell Atlantic's brand name for ADSL, or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line technology, which will provide Internet access to consumers at speeds 11 to 126 times faster than that afforded by a 56 kilobits per second (Kbps) modem. 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.

Infospeed DSL is available in some Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh areas now and will be expanded to additional communities in those areas throughout the fall and in 1999. It will be offered to consumers in the Philadelphia area and on the Hudson River waterfront in New Jersey beginning next month. New York City, Boston and other markets will be added early next year.

Photo of Bruce Gordon "The early response to our plans to offer this service has been even greater than we had hoped," said Bruce Gordon, group president-Retail for Bell Atlantic. "Bell Atlantic has received more than 13,000 inquiries about the service since we made our first announcement in June, spurring us to accelerate our efforts to bring Infospeed DSL to market with innovative programs and partnerships."

New, Lower, Entry-Level Price Coupled with Introductory Discounts

Bell Atlantic's entry level package of DSL service and Internet access -- Bell Atlantic Personal Infospeed -- will be offered at $59.95 a month for unlimited use, $10 less than the price announced in June. Personal Infospeed features speeds up to 640 Kbps, with Bell Atlantic.net(sm) Internet access and a link to a special version of the Snap portal service that is designed for Bell Atlantic's high-speed users. See related Bell Atlantic news release about the Snap portal service.

Pricing for Bell Atlantic's other two package options remains the same:

*Bell Atlantic Professional Infospeed is $109.95 a month for unlimited use. Professional Infospeed features speeds up to 1.6 megabits per second (Mbps), with Bell Atlantic.net and the special Snap portal service.

*Bell Atlantic Power Infospeed is $189.95 a month for unlimited use. Power Infospeed offers speeds up to 7.1 Mbps, with Bell Atlantic.net and the Snap portal.

Customers will be able to choose from among the three options that most closely meet their needs, subject to distance limitations.

Initial fees will be less than $149 for the Bell Atlantic service packages during promotional periods -- including the cost of setting up a connection and equipment, such as ADSL modems, needed to operate the service. To enjoy the full benefit of the promotions, customers must make a one-year commitment to Bell Atlantic.net and return the modem manufacturer's cash-back coupon for $50.

The up-front, set-up costs during the promotional period include a $99 one-time network connection fee and - for Bell Atlantic.net subscribers -- an ADSL modem for $99 (or $49 using the cash-back offer from Westell). Some additional equipment needed to connect with Infospeed, such as an Ethernet card or circuit board for desk-top computers, will be supplied at no charge to Bell Atlantic.net customers if they need it. Fees for inside wiring work and fees for a specialist to aid in the set-up of the person's at- home computer also will be waived for Bell Atlantic.net customers during promotional periods.

After installation is complete, technical support will be available to all Infospeed DSL customers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Finally, the service will come with a customer-care, money-back guarantee for all charges if a customer decides not to continue service within 30 days of installation.

Marketing and Alliance Programs

Bell Atlantic's drive to bring Infospeed DSL to market also is supported by a diverse set of companies -- ranging from PC manufacturers such as Apple, Compaq and Dell, retailers such as CompUSA and content providers such as Snap, to telecommunications equipment and modem manufacturers such as Alcatel (formerly DSC) and Westell. See attached Bell Atlantic sidebar for additional information. See also related news releases from the respective companies.

The Bell Atlantic efforts include the "ISDN Rewards," "Refer-a-Friend" and "Switch to Infospeed" programs. There are incentives for customers to purchase Bell Atlantic.net service, powered by Infospeed DSL, and to encourage their friends to do so as well. See attached sidebar for details.

Bell Atlantic announced last week its "ISP Partnership Program," which compensates participating Internet service providers (ISPs) for Infospeed sales they stimulate. ISPs can package their own Internet access offerings with three levels of high-speed connections from Bell Atlantic, each priced at a flat monthly rate: Infospeed DSL 640K at $39.95, Infospeed DSL 1.6M at $59.95 and Infospeed DSL 7.1M at $109.95.

Customers can make a reservation for Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL services today via the Bell Atlantic Web site at www.bellatlantic.com/infospeed or by calling 1-877-525-ADSL. They also can preview Bell Atlantic's high- speed portal featuring Snap by visiting www.bellatlantic.net/infospeed.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 41 million telephone access lines and more than seven 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.

SIDEBAR #1 for Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL News Release

October 5, 1998

Programs by Companies Supporting Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL

Alcatel*

Alcatel (formerly DSC) supplies network technology that is essential to the deployment of ADSL and to Bell Atlantic's live demonstration of Infospeed sm DSL service.

Apple*

The iMac is Infospeed DSL-ready and will be supported by Bell Atlantic. Apple and Bell Atlantic are working to support other generations of the Macintosh* platform.

Compaq*

Compaq computers are Infospeed DSL-ready. Compaq will co-promote both Infospeed DSL service and DSL-ready computers through direct mail campaigns and through joint events in CompUSA* stores. Compaq will indicate its computers are Infospeed DSL-ready in retail outlets in the Bell Atlantic region.

CompUSA

CompUSA will market Infospeed DSL service with in-store demonstrations and circulars it mails customers in areas where DSL is deployed. The leading computer retail chain will provide Internet training powered by high-speed DSL in appropriate stores. CompUSA also will provide technical support and other services for Infospeed DSL customers.

Dell*

Dell, the leading direct computer systems company, will participate in joint marketing programs with Bell Atlantic and will assemble made-to-order, Infospeed DSL-ready computers.

Globespan*

Globespan provides the integrated circuit that is an essential part of the ADSL modem which integrates voice and high speed data, enabling people to talk on the phone and surf the Internet simultaneously over the same telephone line when they subscribe to Infospeed DSL service.

Snap*

Snap, the leading Internet portal service jointly owned and operated by CNET and NBC, is teaming with Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions to create a version of its portal service and search engine geared to take advantage of the power of Infospeed DSL.

Westell*

Westell, which manufactures the ADSL modems used to deliver Infospeed DSL service, is providing $50 cash-back coupons for the first 20,000 of their modems sold prior to June 30, 1999.

__________________ *Brand names may be trademarks of their respective companies.

SIDEBAR #2 for Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL News Release

October 5, 1998

Bell Atlantic Marketing Programs

ISDN Rewards Program If consumers have previously purchased an ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) modem from Bell Atlantic, they can receive an ADSL modem from the company at no additional charge when Infospeed sm DSL service becomes available in their area. So customers who want high-speed Internet access need not wait until ADSL-powered Infospeed is available in their area. Bell Atlantic ISDN service is available -- today -- to nearly 20 million households in the mid-Atlantic region and the Northeast. ISDN can provide Internet connections more than 4 times faster than traditional 28.8 Kbps modems.

Refer-a-Friend Program Bell Atlantic will give customers $100 for each successful referral of a new Infospeed DSL customer they make. When consumers order Bell Atlantic.net sm and Infospeed DSL, Bell Atlantic will send them referral cards to give to friends and neighbors. When one of these friends orders Infospeed and Bell Atlantic.net and keeps the two services for 60 days, the original party will receive a $100 sales referral check. If a customer gets 10 neighbors to subscribe, he or she will get $1000 from Bell Atlantic!

Switch-to-Infospeed Program Consumers already subscribing to a cable modem or satellite- delivered high-speed Internet service will be given an incentive to switch to Bell Atlantic.net, powered by Infospeed DSL. The price of the ADSL modem will be cut in half once a customer mails or faxes a copy of a recent bill from their cable modem or satellite Internet provider.

Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL Fact Sheet

Acronyms and Names:
  • ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line technology
  • Bell Atlantic.netsm - Brand name for Bell Atlantics mass market Internet access service
  • Bit - Shorthand term for"binary digi" -- either a "1"or a"0"
  • Byte - Amount of memory space needed to store one character, which is normally 8 bits
  • DSL - Digital Subscriber Line: generic term for a family of high speed digital technologies that includes "ADSL"
  • Infospeed sm DSL - Bell Atlantics brand name for ADSL service
  • ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network
  • ISP - Internet service provider. A type of company that provides computer access to the Internet and World Wide Web.
  • Kbps - Kilobits per second (as in thousands of bits per second, a measure of how fast data, as in binary digits or"bits," are transmitted)
  • Mbps - Megabits per second (as in millions of bits per second)
  • MB - Megabytes (as in millions of characters, with 8 bits in a character)

Infospeed DSL Characteristics:

  • More than 11 to 126x faster than a standard 56 Kbps analog modem
  • Customers can choose from among several Internet service providers
  • Service is "always on" -- no lengthy log-on process, no busy signals
  • Uses existing copper telepho ne lines
  • Customer is able to use fax or phone capabilities simultaneously while being on-line with his or her computer.
  • Offered in three speed options, providing flexibility for customers

    1. Up to 640 Kbps downstream; 90 Kbps upstream
    2. Up to 1.6 Mbps downstream; 90 Kbps upstream
    3. Up to 7.1 Mbps downstream; 680 Kbps upstream

Meaningful Speed Comparisons:

Time needed to download newest version of Internet browser software (assume about 10 MB)*

    56 Kbps = ~33 minutes
    640 Kbps = ~ 2 minutes, 8 seconds
    1.6 Mbps = ~51 seconds
    7.1 Mbps = ~11 seconds
*Calculations based on estimated effective or actual throughput

Service Phase-In:

  • Early October: Washington, DC, area; Pittsburgh area
  • November: Philadelphia; New Jersey Hudson River waterfront
  • Early 1999: New York City area, Boston area
  • Mid 1999: Other markets to be announced

Prices for Infospeed DSL, with Bell Atlantic.net Internet access service:

  • Personal Infospeed (up to 640 Kbps) -- $59.95*
  • Professional Infospeed (up to 1.6 Mbps) -- $109.95*
  • Power Infospeed (up to 7.1 Mbps) -- $189.95*
*Monthly flat rates; includes ISP and related charges

Prices for Infospeed DSL alone:

  • Infospeed 640K-- $39.95*
  • Infospeed 1.6M -- $59.95*
  • Infospeed 7.1M -- $109.95*
*Monthly flat rates; ISP charges are in addition

One-time Charges*:

  • Network connection fee -- $99
  • ADSL modem -- $49 during promotional period, including manufacturers cash-back coupon. Price without discounts: $325
  • Ethernet card for desktop computer -- provided at NO CHARGE during promotional periods if card is not already provided by PC manufacturer. Price without discounts: $50
  • Wiring work inside the home and specialist assistance for home set-up FEES WAIVED during promotional periods. Normal charge: $99
*30-day money-back guarantee for all charges (from day of installation)

Features of Bell Atlantic.net powered by Infospeed DSL:

  • Special edition of Snap portal service designed to take advantage of high-speed capabilities
  • Free browser software in Windows 95* or Windows NT 4.0* versions or in Macintosh version
  • Electronic mail
  • Access to newsgroups
  • Five megabytes of space for personal Web page
  • Free access to expert help desk services, 24x7
*Trademarks of Microsoft Corporation

System Requirements for Bell Atlantic.net powered by Infospeed DSL:

  • Pentium Intel-equipped, IBM-compatible PC* (75 MHz), 32 megabytes of memory, 25 megabytes of free hard disk space, an ADSL modem, a CD-ROM drive and available space for an Ethernet card
  • iMac, 32 megabytes of memory, 25 megabytes of free hard disk space, an ADSL modem, and a CD-ROM drive
*Some other systems may also be compatible.

Customer Contact Information:

  • Relevant Web sites: www.bellatlantic.com/infospeed, www.bellatlantic.net/infospeed, www.bellatlantic.net
  • Toll-free numbers for reserving Infospeed: 1-877-525-ADSL

Key Facts about Bell Atlantic:

  • Corporate headquarters at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY, 10036
  • Service territory spans from Maine to Virginia, covering 13 states and the District of Columbia
  • 41 million telephone lines in service
  • More than 7 million wireless phone customers.

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