NEW YORK — Bell Atlantic today announced that it has awarded preferred supplier status to FLAG Telecom, a leading independent global carriers' carrier, and agreed to purchase 50 percent of its international subsea cable capacity on FLAG Telecom systems over the next four years. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
FLAG Telecom owns and operates the world's longest private subsea cable system, providing direct access to more than 75 percent of the world's population and is constructing FLAG Atlantic-1, a dual terabit cable system, offering fully protected direct services between the cities of New York, London and Paris. The high capacity network supports voice, high speed data, Internet and other broadband-hungry applications of today's marketplace.
"This agreement is important to Bell Atlantic's plans for international connectivity because we gain access to a reliable, high quality network connecting many of the world's business centers at the best prices," said Daniel C. Petri, Bell Atlantic president - International Telecommunications.
Andrés B. Bande, Chairman and CEO of FLAG Telecom, said: "We are proud to have been awarded primary supplier status by Bell Atlantic. We offer a range of innovative products and services across our network, tailored specifically for the global carriers of tomorrow, such as Bell Atlantic. Reliability and quality are key in our marketplace, and we are delighted to have been recognized in this way."
Bell Atlantic, which is an investor in FLAG Telecom, received permission in December from the Federal Communications Commission to provide long distance services from New York effective January 3.
The FLAG Telecom network comprises: FLAG Europe-Asia, a subsea cable system with 16 operational landing points in 13 countries, on three continents, which entered service in November 1997, and a European terrestrial network providing direct connections to major metropolitan areas throughout Europe, which became operational last year. Today, FLAG Telecom has over 90 telecommunications operators and Internet Service Providers as customers, including most of the world's top carriers. FLAG Atlantic-1 is being built as a 50-50 joint venture with GTS and is expected to enter service in the first quarter of 2001. Over 50 percent of the design capacity has already been sold.
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.
INTERNET USERS: Bell Atlantic news releases, executive speeches, news media contacts and other useful information are available at Bell Atlantic's News Center on the World Wide Web (http://www.ba.com ). To receive news releases by email, visit the News Center and register for personalized automatic delivery of Bell Atlantic news releases. For news releases and other information about FLAG Telecom, visit www.flagtelecom.com .