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COMMERCE CENTERS TO GET NEW JERSEY BELL FIBER OPTICS

 NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- New Jersey Bell, a Bell Atlantic company, today announced plans to install advanced fiber optics at more than 30 commerce centers throughout the state, a move the company believes will help attract businesses and stimulate the economy.
 Construction of the "SONET" survivable fiber-optic ring systems will be done this year as part of New Jersey Bell's "Opportunity New Jersey" plan for accelerating the installation through 1999 of fiber-optic and digital switching facilities.
 The new facilities will enable businesses to get voice, data and video services in hours rather than days and the fiber rings ensure nearly instantaneous restoral if service is disrupted.
 The nation's first "SONET OC-12" survivable fiber-optic ring system was installed last year by New Jersey Bell in Jersey City. That fiber ring is credited by the company with helping to attract new businesses to the area.
 "The impact of state-of-the-art telecommunications systems on business and the economy is well known," said Edward H. Sproat, vice president - operations and chief operating officer at New Jersey Bell. "Just as major financial and other institutions have decided to make Jersey City home because of the leading-edge network we've installed there, so too will others decide to make other parts of New Jersey home. We intend to be as responsive to business customers' needs in areas such as Trenton and Laurel Springs as we've been in Jersey City."
 Faster provisioning of services is important to businesses that are moving to new quarters or are changing existing service arrangements.
 Immediate restoral of service is crucial to businesses such as banks and insurance companies that rely upon the telecommunications network for the uninterrupted transmission of high volumes of data associated with customer accounts and transactions. The fiber rings currently are capable of incredible data speeds up to 2.4 billion bits per second.
 Fiber rings help New Jersey Bell, too, because they enable the company to meet its customers' requirements for fast, reliable service. New Jersey Bell views the flexibility and survivability of its fiber- optic rings as a significant help in meeting competition from companies known as "alternative access providers" that compete with it for high- volume, high-revenue business accounts.
 In addition to speeding service provisioning and ensuring survivability, the fiber rings later may be modified to enable customers to monitor network performance themselves, in a manner similar to the way the network is monitored by New Jersey Bell.
 Some companies may want the added reliability that two, rather than one, central switching office provides. Subject to regulatory approval, the fiber rings will enable New Jersey Bell to offer IntelliLight(SM) Dual Wire Center Service for those customers.
 Other capabilities may be added as the fiber rings are deployed and network applications evolve. Overall, New Jersey Bell's commitment is to deploy advanced technology where market conditions, costs and regulatory incentives justify the investment.
 SONET is short for Synchronous Optical Network, an evolving network standard used by telecommunications companies to connect high-speed transmission equipment that is manufactured by various companies. A standard is a group of technical specifications that governs the way telecommunications equipment and networks are interconnected. "OC-12" refers to the capacity and speed of the SONET system.
 In a December (1992) ruling that included approval of the "Opportunity New Jersey" plan, the state Board of Regulatory Commissioners froze basic
residential service rates at a maximum $8.19 per month through 1999. The board said funding of network improvements such as SONET rings would be through retained earnings not paid to Bell Atlantic shareholders, revenues from new services and from new debt.
 New Jersey Bell's ultimate goal is to bring its statewide fiber- optic network to all homes and businesses by the year 2010. The company sees the network as a platform from which service providers such as cable TV companies, newspapers, academic institutions, health care professionals and others may bring their services to customers. Access to New Jersey Bell's public network is available to all service providers on equal terms and conditions.
 Other services that are expected to develop as the advanced network is built include distance learning, telecommuting, home energy and security management, home shopping and financial services such as bank cards for purchases at local businesses.
 Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL), based in Philadelphia, is the parent company of New Jersey Bell, Bell of Pennsylvania, Diamond State Telephone (Delaware), and the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone companies of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
 Bell Atlantic also is the parent of companies that provide wireless communications in the mid-Atlantic region and business systems services for customer-based information technology, including software, systems integration, hardware and software service and support, and financial services, throughout the United States and internationally. In addition, Bell Atlantic International offers network services and consulting to telephone authorities throughout the world and, in conjunction with Ameritech, owns a majority interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand.
 NEW JERSEY BELL SONET FIBER-OPTIC RING LOCATIONS 1993
 201 area code:
 Jersey City (placed in service in 1992)
 Secaucus
 Secaucus (Mill Creek)
 Secaucus (Meadowlands Parkway)
 Secaucus (Harmon Meadows)
 East Rutherford
 Rutherford
 Hoboken
 Weehawken
 Newark Airport
 Newark Gateway
 Parsippany/Whippany
 Little Ferry
 Rochelle Park
 Madison/Morristown
 Englewood
 908 area code:
 Brick/Lakewood/Dover/Jackson
 Edison (Raritan Center)
 Franklin Township (Atrium Park, Somerset County)
 Franklin Township (Belmont Drive, Somerset County)
 Franklin Township (Centennial Avenue, Somerset County)
 Woodbridge/Edison (Metro Park)
 Freehold/Neptune/Eatontown/Farmingdale
 Freehold/Neptune/Eatontown/Farmingdale (Routes 34, 35 and 66)
 Holmdel/Red Bank/Middletown/Shrewsbury
 Holmdel/Middletown (Newman Springs Road)
 Union/Elizabeth (Liberty Hall)
 609 area code:
 Plainsboro/West Windsor (College Road East)
 West Windsor (Carnegie Center)
 Moorestown
 Laurel Springs
 Atlantic City (Boardwalk)
 -0- 2/23/93
 /CONTACT: James W. Carrigan of New Jersey Bell, 201-649-2279/
 (BEL)


CO: New Jersey Bell ST: New Jersey IN: TLS SU:

GK-SP -- NY042 -- 9390 02/23/93 11:54 EST
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Date:Feb 23, 1993
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