PHILADELPHIA — Bell Atlantic is nearing completion of a $536,000 fiber-optic project in the Ivy Ridge section of Philadelphia to upgrade the local telephone network and provide additional broadband capability to its customers.
During the project Bell Atlantic has installed about four miles of underground fiber- optic cable and associated electronic equipment in the area of Ridge Avenue and Martin Street to serve several public schools as well as homes and business locations. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of January. The fiber-optic cable also provides additional reliability and survivability in the Bell Atlantic network. Fiber- optic systems use hair-thin glass strands and digital technology to deliver high quality telephone services along with high-capacity/high-speed voice and date transmission services.
"This project is the latest evidence that Bell Atlantic is meeting our commitment to deliver a state-of-the-art telecommunications network throughout Pennsylvania," said Daniel J. Whelan, president of Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania. "We are accelerating our construction schedules to provide rural and urban customers with high-speed access to the Internet, work-at-home capabilities, as well as a host of other innovative advanced services."
Whelan said Bell Atlantic has made major strides in deploying advanced technology in its network:
- Investment in the Pennsylvania network totaled nearly $2 billion in 1998 and 1999.
- Miles of fiber-optic cable in the commonwealth increased by 81 percent from 474,450 in 1995 to more than 863,000 in 1999.
- Percentage of digital call-routing switches will be 100 percent by the end of the year 2000, having grown from 90.3 percent in 1995 to 98.5 percent in 1999.
- Bell Atlantic Infospeedsm DSL was launched in Pennsylvania in October 1998.
Infospeed DSL is a secure, high-speed, always-on Internet access service that enables consumers to connect to cyberspace at speeds up to 100 times faster than today's fastest analog modems.
In addition to deploying the latest technology, Bell Atlantic has spent tens of millions of dollars to open Pennsylvania's local telephone market to competition.
"We have irreversibly opened our markets to competition," Whelan said. "We can't force the long distance giants or anyone else to compete here, but anyone who genuinely wants to enter our markets can do so."
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 countries.