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BELL ATLANTIC PLANS TEST OF VIDEO-ON-DEMAND CAPABILITY

 BELL ATLANTIC PLANS TEST OF VIDEO-ON-DEMAND CAPABILITY
 ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagine having the contents of the local video store available in the comfort of your home with just a dial of your phone and a push of a button on your TV remote control unit.
 Next summer, up to 400 Bell Atlantic employees living in Northern Virginia and served by The Chesapeake and Potomac (C&P) Telephone Company of Virginia will have their home telephone lines equipped with a new technology that will make it possible to add video-on- demand (VOD) services to the telephone service they now receive.
 This technology will enable the employees to dial into an electronic warehouse, called a "video server," and select and have appear on their TV sets any of a long list of entertainment, sports or educational videos. In contrast to the 60 or 120 channels from which cable TV viewers can choose, the video server can provide potentially thousands of choices, whenever the customer wants.
 "Imagine being able to order what you want, exactly when you want it, selecting from lists of classic and current films, sports events, documentaries, instructional videos and more," said Art Bushkin, Bell Atlantic president of Information Services.
 "We expect next summer's test to confirm that our technology will deliver these services as well under real conditions as it does in the lab," said Bushkin. "The next step will be to aggressively pursue our plans to provide video-on-demand services using the existing telephone network. We have a tremendous market opportunity here that we intend to capitalize on as soon as possible. We're in extensive discussions with some of the best-known entertainment and information providers in the world to join with us in providing consumers with a wide range of entertainment and other videos."
 The new technology involved in the C&P trial is called Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL). ADSL provides the capability of delivering video signals into a home over the telephone network by simply adding special equipment to each end of an existing line. Its use will enable the Bell Atlantic companies to enter the mass market for video-on-demand services in 1994.
 Customers will order movies and other video services by calling a central computer, or video server, and placing their order. A computer will then establish the connection between the video server and a special unit on top of the consumer's TV set. Videos will be stored and transmitted in a coded, compressed form that conforms to the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standard. The unit on top of the consumer's TV will decode and decompress the video and send it to the TV screen.
 Employees will be selected for the trial, in part, based on the type of TV set they own. This is so engineers can confirm the feasibility of using ADSL to deliver videos over existing networks to TV equipment that varies widely in age and brand.
 C&P filed a request today with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking approval for next year's ADSL project. Bell Atlantic's plans for video-on-demand services were made possible by an FCC ruling last July 16 that permits telephone companies to offer "video dial tone."
 Video dial tone can be provided using different technologies, including ADSL or optical fibers. The advantages of ADSL include that it works with most existing telephone facilities and the equipment involved can be installed with relative ease. Market entry will be much faster with ADSL because it relies primarily on existing facilities.
 Fiber optic cable, which will meet customer requirements for higher signal quality and the simultaneous transmission of multiple channels, will be installed by the Bell Atlantic telephone companies in areas where the economics justify the investment.
 Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL) is the parent company of New Jersey Bell, Bell of Pennsylvania, Diamond State Telephone and the C&P Telephone Companies serving Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.
 -0- 10/21/92
 /NOTE: A diagram is available./
 /CONTACT: Larry Plumb of Bell Atlantic, 703-974-5446/
 (BEL) CO: Bell Atlantic ST: Virginia IN: TLS SU: PDT


IH -- DC012 -- 2904 10/21/92 12:40 EDT
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Date:Oct 21, 1992
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