Bell Atlantic Launches Major Network Construction Projects in Culpeper, Leesburg, Winchester Areas

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Bell Atlantic Launches Major Network Construction Projects in Culpeper, Leesburg, Winchester Areas

Company Invests Nearly $2 Million to Expand, Upgrade Local Phone Network

June 7, 2000


Paul Miller,

RICHMOND, Va. - Bell Atlantic is spending nearly $2 million this summer to upgrade the company's telecommunications network in the Culpeper, Leesburg and Winchester areas.

"We have a state-of-the-art telecommunications network in Virginia, and we're committed to making it even better," said Robert Woltz, acting president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - Virginia. "The fiber optics we'll be deploying in the weeks ahead is yet another step toward a more robust, more flexible network. This will further strengthen our network's backbone, providing the high-speed pathways that data-intensive businesses want and need."

The largest of the projects is in the Madison exchange, west of Culpeper. Bell Atlantic will place nearly 14 miles of fiber-optic cable to serve the Wolftown, Hood and Grave's Mill communities. The project will start at the end of this month and cost approximately $830,000.

Other projects scheduled to begin soon in that part of the state include:

Purcellville -- Bell Atlantic will spend nearly a half-million dollars in the Purcellville area of Loudoun County on several fiber-optic projects. Approximately 6.5 miles of fiber will be placed along Route 611, south of Purcellville and along Route 730. Also, nearly four miles of fiber will be installed to serve the Brown's Farm and Valley Springs communities. Construction will begin by the end of June.

Leesburg -- Beginning July 1, Bell Atlantic will launch two separate fiber-optic projects in the Leesburg area, involving a total of nearly four miles of cable. One section will be placed along U.S. 15 south of Leesburg and the other will be located along Route 611. Total cost for those two jobs is $180,000.

Gainsboro -- Over six miles of fiber optics will be placed next month between the Gainsboro and North Mountain exchanges near Winchester. The project, which will cost approximately $325,000, will handle calls between the switching centers in those two communities.

Criglersville -- Nearly four miles of fiber optics will be installed in the Criglersville exchange, with work slated to start at the end of July. The cable will serve the communities of Syria and Grave's Mountain. Total cost is estimated at $280,000.

Hartwood -- In August, Bell Atlantic will install 3.6 miles of fiber optics in the Hartwood exchange to serve customers in Hartlake area. The job is expected to cost $170,000.

The new technology deployed in these communities will increase Bell Atlantic's ability to offer high-speed data services and provides additional reliability and survivability in the Bell Atlantic network. Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin glass fibers and digital technology to deliver high-quality telephone service along with high capacity, high-speed voice and data transmission services.

Woltz said Bell Atlantic has made major strides in deploying advanced technology in itsVirginia network:

  • At the end of 1999, Bell Atlantic had some 652,000 miles of fiber-optic cable in its Virginia service area, which represents only about one-third of the state's geography.

  • Last year Bell Atlantic's construction expenditures in Virginia approached $600 million. The company expects to exceed that investment this year, with most of the funds earmarked for technology deployment.

  • More than 98 percent of Bell Atlantic's call-switching offices in Virginia are digital, providing increased reliability and quality.

  • Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm DSL (digital subscriber line) is available in many parts of Hampton Roads, Richmond and Northern Virginia. Infospeed DSL is a high-speed, always-on Internet access service that enables users to connect to cyberspace at speeds as much as 100 times faster than today's fastest modems. The service will be available in parts of Hampton Roads in the coming weeks.

In addition to deploying the latest technology in Virginia, Bell Atlantic is spending tens of millions of dollars to open its local telephone market to competition.

"We have irreversibly opened our markets to competition," Woltz said. "Over 100 companies have been certified by the state to compete against us, and they're here because we've helped pave the way for their entry."

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 44 million telephone access lines and more than 20 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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