New Bell Atlantic High-Speed ADSL Service
to Shift Internet Surfers into HyperDrive
Suite of "Always-On" Services Will Be Brought to Markets
Served by More Than 7 Million Lines by Year-end 1999
June 3, 1998
WASHINGTON -- Consumers and at-home workers in several mid-
Atlantic markets will be among the first in the world to order "always-on,"
high-speed Internet access starting this September, Bell Atlantic announced
The digital high-speed service will provide a link to the global Internet that
will always be available at the click of a mouse. No dialing. No busy
The company's deployment of the new suite of Bell Atlantic InfoSpeed
Internet access services, powered by Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
(ADSL) technology, will begin in the Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh and
Philadelphia metropolitan areas in September. New Jersey's Hudson River
waterfront will follow in October. Service in these mid-Atlantic markets
will be deployed to more than two million lines by the end of 1998 and five
million more in 1999.
The New York City and Boston metropolitan areas will begin to come on-
line next year. Additional markets will be announced in the future.
"Bell Atlantic's InfoSpeed services will take the headache out of working
and surfing on-line from home," said Bruce Gordon, group president-retail
for Bell Atlantic. "The tempo of work and play moves faster every day in
our ever more 'wired' world, and people increasingly find their standard
Internet access to be too slow. Bell Atlantic is determined to keep pace
with people's evolving needs by adding booster rockets to the on-line
connections we provide and by supplying high speed, easy-to-use,
complete Internet solutions."
The new service will supercharge an existing phone line by using ADSL
technology to provide connections ranging from 640 kilobits per second
(Kbps) to 7.1 megabits per second (Mbps) -- up to 250 times faster than a
traditional 28.8 Kbps modem.
"Consumers usually are deterred from adopting a hi-tech service such as
InfoSpeed by usage-based pricing, a 'choice' of only 'one size fits all,' high
up-front costs, and the effort required to operate complex new
technologies," said Gordon. "Bell Atlantic is addressing these concerns."
Bell Atlantic has identified three different groups of at-home Internet users,
each with a different set of requirements -- personal, professional and
power. Customers choosing Bell Atlantic InfoSpeed high-speed services
and Bell Atlantic.net sm Internet access will be able to select from among
three options that most closely meet their needs, subject to potential
- Bell Atlantic Personal InfoSpeed (up to 640 Kbps, with Bell Atlantic.net
Internet access) at $69.95 a month for unlimited use;
- Bell Atlantic Professional InfoSpeed (up to 1.6 Mbps, with Bell
Atlantic.net Internet access) at $109.95 a month for unlimited use;
- Bell Atlantic Power InfoSpeed (up to 7.1 Mbps, including Bell
Atlantic.net Internet access) at $189.95 a month for unlimited use.
Start-up fees will be held to less than $200 during introductory
promotional periods. This will include a $99 one-time connection fee, and
-- for Bell Atlantic.net subscribers -- an ADSL modem for under $100, the
waiver of fees for inside wiring work and the waiver of fees for a specialist
to aid in the set-up of the person's at-home computer. Further, the service
will come with a customer care, money-back guarantee for all one-time
charges if a customer decides not to continue service within 30 days of
Bell Atlantic InfoSpeed also will be available to other Internet Service
Providers to package with their Internet access offerings. Three levels of
high-speed connections will be offered, priced at flat monthly rates:
InfoSpeed 640K at $39.95, InfoSpeed 1.6M at $59.95 and InfoSpeed 7.1M
When customers order a Bell Atlantic InfoSpeed service, specialists will be
available to visit their homes and install the equipment and test the line. If
customers want, the specialists will be able to install and configure their
Bell Atlantic.net software and set up their computers for always-on
Internet access. After the installation is complete, technical support will be
available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Delighting our customers and providing world-class service is one of the
hallmarks of Bell Atlantic," said Gordon. "Our commitment to customer
care now is being extended to the world of on-line services, where we
intend to meet our customers' expectations and ensure a migration path to
the future when they purchase a data service from us."
Bell Atlantic will be "technology-change proofing" its high speed services
by introducing an "ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) Rewards"
program concurrent with the launch of its InfoSpeed product line. Once
Bell Atlantic InfoSpeed service is available in an area, ISDN customers
who have purchased an ISDN modem from Bell Atlantic will be guaranteed
an ADSL modem from the company at no additional charge when they
upgrade to InfoSpeed service and subscribe to Bell Atlantic.net. So,
customers who want high-speed Internet access need not wait until ADSL-
powered InfoSpeed is available in their area. Where Bell Atlantic
InfoSpeed is not available or is not compatible with a person's line,
customers can still order Bell Atlantic ISDN service for high-speed Internet
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 that are more than four times faster than
traditional 28.8 Kbps modems. Nearly half of the one million ISDN lines
installed in the United States are used by Bell Atlantic customers.
The company's ADSL-based services also will evolve to be compatible
with the international, universal specifications currently being developed by
the world's technical community. These specifications will ensure that
future ADSL products and services will work together simply and easily,
providing a "plug and play" installation process and making the services
even more affordable. For more information on this issue, visit the
Universal ADSL Working Group site on the World Wide Web at
Enhanced business-to-business and business-to-Internet ADSL-based
services will be launched early in 1999. These enhancements will include
accelerated provisioning procedures, proactive network monitoring
capabilities and service management capabilities. The new services will
enhance Bell Atlantic's full suite of Fast Packet services that is designed for
the business market.
Customers can make a reservation for Bell Atlantic InfoSpeed ADSL
services today via the Bell Atlantic Web site at www.bellatlantic.com/adsl,
or by calling 1 (877) 525-ADSL. They also can learn about Bell Atlantic's
ISDN Rewards Program by visiting the same Web site or calling the same
Bell Atlantic.net is available in major markets from Maine to Virginia. Bell
Atlantic.net will provide customers purchasing Bell Atlantic.net Internet
access powered by InfoSpeed with free Communicator software in
Windows 95* or Windows NT* 4.0 versions, electronic mail, access to
newsgroups, five megabytes of space for a personal Web page and free
access to expert help desk services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Bell Atlantic.net pricing plans include current Global Service Provider
charges for connection to the global Internet.
For information about Bell Atlantic.net, visit the company's Web site at
www.bellatlantic.net or call 1 (800) NET-2026.
Bell Atlantic -- formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX --
is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry.
With more than 41 million telephone access lines and 6.7 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
*Trademark of Microsoft Corp.
Always-On Connections . . . How Do They Do That?
Bell Atlantic InfoSpeed services will provide an "always-on" connection to
the Internet by linking the computer user directly into Bell Atlantic's data
network, which is separate and apart from the telephone network. This
data network operates on a very different principle from the phone
Telephone calls depend on establishing a pathway or circuit between two
people that is always open for the duration of the call. The circuit is kept
100 percent open and available even when no information (words) is being
transmitted, because pauses are a meaningful part of human conversation.
Computerized equipment called "circuit switches" perform the magic of
creating an open channel through the incredibly complex maze of wires and
glass fibers of a telephone network, all in a matter of milliseconds. The
switches keep a circuit open for the duration of the call and then are
responsible for dismantling the connection when the phone users hang up,
making the wires and equipment in the telephone network available for the
next two callers, again in the blink of an eye.
A telephone network puts a premium on disconnecting circuits when calls
are finished because the more often and more quickly the telephone
network can be reused by new callers, the lower the cost of operating the
total system and lower the price to the individual caller.
Herein lies the barrier to providing at-home Internet surfers with a
constant, on-line link over the circuit switched, voice telephone network.
The imperative to disconnect is there, no matter whether the
communication is between two people or two computers.
Data calls between two computers are very different. Silence is
meaningless. Keeping a circuit 100 percent open when a person is pausing
to read text at a Web site is a waste of time -- and of a waste of precious
So the switches on a data network operate under a very different principle
from voice switches. A data switch accepts information (data) in the form
of small chunks or packets -- the sort of thing that is sent when a person
types on a computer keyboard for a few moments and then pauses to think.
In a burst of activity, the data or packet switch sends the packets of
information out to the intricate circuitry of a data network. Each individual
packet finds its way through the network to its destination, aided at times
by intervening switches.
Meanwhile, rather than worry about keeping a circuit open to the other end
of the connection, the originating data switch immediately clears its
pathways to the network, making the circuits available for a burst of
activity from the next computer user who pounds out a message on a
keyboard. Instead of being disconnected, the circuits "rest" or "go to
sleep" -- if only for a microsecond -- ready to be revived the moment there
is data to transmit.
When many computer users are on-line at the same time, circuits on a data
network are never idle. They are filled with the data packets from different
computers. Millions of packets move to their various destinations over the
data network, many times traveling interspersed and interwoven on the
same physical wire.
The way in which data networks keep circuits full and in constant use
makes for very efficient computer-to-computer communications, hence
giving the ability to provide always-on service.
Bell Atlantic InfoSpeed Services and the Always-On Connection
When a computer user is tied directly to the sort of data network just
described, then providing a constant connection becomes feasible and
affordable. People using Bell Atlantic InfoSpeed services will be able to
leave their computers on and connected all day, knowing their data circuit
will never give them a busy signal. Instead, it will come to life the moment
they want to surf a Web site to check on the latest stock quote or sports
What Others Say About Bell Atlantic's ADSL Plans . . .
"It's the way of the future. I think all computers should be equipped for
ADSL. I like it much better than modems because of the speed. I can use
ADSL for my own construction company to download major files, such as
computer-aided design, or CAD, to help in presenting photos and designs
to my customers. It's a great selling and networking tool."
Northern Virginia trial customer
"I would die without my ADSL. It's better than cable modems. It's like
driving a Porsche. I could never go back to that slow 56Kbps modem ever
again. The service is reliable and responsive."
Northern Virginia trial customer
"Bell Atlantic's DSL services are likely to be competitive with other high-
speed services such as cable modems and are likely to be more widely
available to more consumers and businesses in the near term."
"Bell Atlantic is to be congratulated for pursuing deployment of ADSL - a
critically important technology for bringing advanced applications, such as
health care, economic empowerment and life-long learning to the home.
The challenge is for incremental deployment to reach marginalized
communities that are at risk of being bypassed by market forces."
Alliance for Public Technology
"Compaq applauds Bell Atlantic's commitment to deployment of this high-
speed Internet access capability and plans for migration to the emerging
Universal-ADSL (U-ADSL) specification. The PC has truly become a
communications device that is central to people's lives, and we are excited
to see the vision of high-speed, always-connected Internet access becoming
a reality with Bell Atlantic's InfoSpeed offering."
Compaq Computer Corporation