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BELLSOUTH SETS NEW RECORD; PHONE LINES SURPASS 19 MILLION

 ATLANTA, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- BellSouth continues to lead the nation's Bell telecommunications companies by surpassing its own record and reaching the new threshold of 19 million local telephone lines in service in its fast-growing southeast region.
 The company also is a national leader in the deployment of fiber optics -- 1 million miles -- and in advanced communications services such as high speed data and imaging using ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) technology.
 BellSouth, headquartered in Atlanta, also leads in spurring the introduction of innovative information services by making its Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN) available to entrepreneurs and other information service developers.
 Fast-paced growth and innovative telecommunications leadership are nothing new to BellSouth, however, according to Jere Drummond, president -- customer operations for BellSouth Telecommunications.
 "BellSouth has established itself as the clear national leader in the sale of such advanced consumer services as Memory Call(R) answering service, Call Return and Caller ID," Drummond said. "We have introduced a wide range of popular services for residential and small business customers that would have been considered highly futuristic only a decade or two ago."
 The largest of the regional Bell companies also has taken the initiative in development of digital services that allow voice, data and video to travel over a single telephone circuit. It has pioneered the testing of sophisticated screen-based telephones that can be used to shop and bank by phone, or even "read" a caller's bank credit card to charge purchases.
 Phone Growth Reflects Region
 The new 19 million line mark underscores the dramatic growth of BellSouth's local exchange operations in the southeastern United States during the last decade.
 It took 50 years -- from 1879 to 1929 -- for the same area to reach 1 million telephone lines. BellSouth's last million in line growth took less than two years and the company has grown by over 5 million lines since its formation in 1984.
 Drummond said that BellSouth met the growing communications needs of the South with a skilled work force and the latest telecommunications technology.
 While gaining its last million telephone lines, Drummond said the company successfully met the additional challenge of two of the most powerful storms in the nation's history -- Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the blizzard of March 1993.
 "Only a company with a modern, well-designed communications network and experienced, dedicated personnel could have handled those natural disasters with relatively little disruption to communications while continuing to meet the high growth needs of the region," Drummond said.
 PREDICATIONS MADE 27 YEARS AGO HIT THE MARK
 In 1966, the nine-state area now served by BellSouth Telecommunications celebrated the addition of its 10 millionth telephone set. A management publication of Southern Bell -- at that time the local phone company for those states -- ran a story on what the next 10 million phones might look like, under the headline, "Next 10 Million May Seem Bizarre." Remarkably, every single service predicted in that article is available today to most BellSouth customers.
 The Southern Bell Management Information Bulletin from Sept. 29, 1966 reads:
 "Our company's first 10 million telephones are made up mostly of the kind you'd recognize right away. But the next 10 million may contain some features -- and some services -- that seem as bizarre to us as touch-tone would have to Tom Watson. For example:
 " -- A complete family of effortless automatic dialers, with a wide repertory of numbers stored electronically in thin-film circuit units.
 " -- A telephone, which, if circuits are busy on your first try, automatically redials your call until it gets through, then calls you back.
 " -- A touch-tone phone with from 12 to 16 buttons, with which you could pay bills, shop and turn on your air conditioning.
 " -- Maybe even, ultimately, telephone equipment entirely free of wires -- and perhaps small as a fountain pen.
 "It should be interesting."
 -0- 10/11/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Morrow of BellSouth Telecommunications, 404-529-8169/


CO: BellSouth Telecommunciations ST: Georgia IN: TLS SU:

CF-RA -- AT004 -- 0595 10/11/93 10:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 11, 1993
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