Bell Atlantic's Network Investment in
Washington, D.C. Yields Solid Results during
Company Invests Over $130 Million This Year;
Notes Other District of Columbia Milestones
December 23, 1999
WASHINGTON -- District of Columbia consumers and businesses are
served by one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in the
country, thanks to an aggressive network investment program Bell
Atlantic continued during 1999. This year, the company spent over $130
million to modernize, expand and upgrade the vast telecommunications
network serving the nation's capital.
"As this decade ends, we've delivered on our promise to equip
Washington with an advanced telecommunications network that will help
the city, its businesses, schools, libraries and consumers succeed in the
new Millennium," said Bell Atlantic-Washington, D.C. President
and CEO Marie C. Johns.
The funds were used primarily to expand the company's fiber-optic
facilities, wire schools and libraries to the Internet, and continue adding
the latest technology to Bell Atlantic's 17 call-routing centers throughout
"I'm proud to announce that we completed a three-year, $4 million
project to wire 177 schools and 27 libraries to the Internet and an intra-city
government network," Johns said. "We are continuing to
convert all our call-routing centers from analog to digital technology.
Digital centers will bring other new services to our customers and higher
quality, more reliable local telephone service. In addition, we were able to
bring our high-speed Internet access service, called InfospeedSM DSL, to
almost every neighborhood in the city."
Infospeed DSL provides an always-on connection to the Internet with no
dialing, no busy signals and no waiting.
Bell Atlantic also added almost 25,000 miles of fiber-optic cable in
Washington, D.C. during 1999, bringing the city's overall fiber-optic
network to 71,853 miles -- or enough to circle the earth almost three times.
Fiber-optic systems use laser-generated light pulses and digital technology
to provide greater capacity, higher transmission speeds and better quality
for voice, video and data transmitted over the network.
"Throughout the year, we reaffirmed our commitment to bring
advanced telecommunications to Washington and put information-age
technology in the hands of all of its residents," Johns said.
Citing other milestones achieved during 1999, Johns said Bell Atlantic:
- Introduced National 4-1-1 directory assistance service in
- Increased the number of households with telephone service from
91.5 percent to 92.3 percent.
- Created the Bell Atlantic/D.C. Chamber of Commerce Visitor's
Center, with four Bell Atlantic-developed interactive kiosks that provide
information to tourists.
- Implemented a jobs training program called "Students
Educated for Economic Development Success" (SEEDS) which
trained nearly 100 former school drop outs for jobs in the
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines and more than 10
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