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BELLSOUTH TELECOMMUNICATIONS OFFICE IN ATLANTA IS HOME TO 50 MILLIONTH TELEPHONE LINE SERVED BY AN AT&T 5ESS(R) SWITCH

 ATLANTA, June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta marked still another Information Age milestone this week when BellSouth Telecommunications turned up the 50 millionth telephone line served by an AT&T 5ESS(R) Switch.
 "The significance of this event taking place in our midtown Atlanta Peachtree Place central office," said Carl Swearingen, president- Georgia, BellSouth Telecommunications, "is that no telephone company anywhere is moving more aggressively than BellSouth Telecommunications to ensure that our customers are positioned to reap every advantage of the Information Age revolution that's now occurring.
 "Voice, data, video are all fusing into a whole new way of using telecommunications to solve business problems and are opening up vast new opportunities in education, entertainment, and convenience for consumers. Ensuring reliable, efficient and cost-effective customer access to these opportunities requires switches like the 5ESS that can provide service today as well as evolve into the future along with the rapid changes in technology," he said.
 A watershed change has now occurred in the telephone business: In the past, switches only had one job, to switch -- or route -- voice calls from one customer to another. But today, customers want -- and demand -- advanced voice data features to give them a competitive edge in business and to enable them to handle their calling at home with greater convenience.
 "The 5ESS Switch provides BellSouth Telecommunications with the ability to deliver a whole host of popular calling services now desired by customers such as Custom Calling Features, TouchStar(R) service, Ringmaster(R) service, and MemoryCall(R) voice messaging and telephone answering services, highly flexible services that just about anyone can use," said Joe Mauriello, regional vice president, AT&T Network Systems.
 "Plus, a 5ESS Switch gives BellSouth Telecommunications the ability to provide many sophisticated services -- such as Automatic Call Distribution and ESSX(R)service -- for large business users. Services can grow right along with BellSouth customer needs and requirements. That clearly puts the state of Georgia into a highly competitive position relative to other parts of the U.S. and the world when it comes to the telecommunications infrastructure," he said.
 As customers count on these sophisticated services to generate revenue and streamline operations, switching system reliability becomes more important than ever before, said Mauriello.
 "Based on data published by the FCC, AT&T's 5ESS Switch is the most reliable digital switch on the market," he said. "It exceeds Bellcore's reliability standards by 200 percent."
 The first 5ESS Switch arrived in Buford, Ga. in 1983, with service turned up for customers on March 4, 1984. Since then, 5ESS Switches serving 883,000 telephone lines at 57 sites have gone into service on behalf of customers in BellSouth's Georgia network.
 A BellSouth Telecommunications 5ESS Switch in Georgia was the first switch in the nation to provide Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) voice and data service to multiple customers. BellSouth inaugurated ISDN service to six customers through its Dunwoody central office on April 12, 1988. BellSouth continues to be a leader in ISDN deployment.
 More than 60,000 BellSouth Telecommunications customers will initially be served by the Peachtree Place 5ESS Switch, including BellSouth's corporate headquarters in the Campanile Building on Peachtree Street, Atlanta.
 The 5ESS Switch has proven its durability and flexibility over time as a key element in building a solid telecommunications infrastructure. Spring 1992 marked the 10th anniversary of the first 5ESS Switch, which went into service in Seneca, Ill., on March 25, 1982. Since then, 5ESS Switches have been delivered to over 2,000 locations around the world.
 Thanks to the ability to add equipment and software modules that provide new features and functions, virtually all 5ESS switches remain state-of-the-art when it comes to providing customer service, according to Mauriello.
 BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., does business as Southern Bell in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and as South Central Bell in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. These companies serve over 18 million local telephone lines and provide local exchange and intraLATA long distance service over one of the most modern telecommunications networks in the world.
 AT&T Network Systems is one of the world's largest manufacturers and providers of network telecommunications equipment. It offers communications service providers virtually everything they need to build and operate their networks.
 -0- 6/21/93
 /CONTACT: Lynn Bress of BellSouth Telecommunications, 404-391-2484, or Jim Messenger of AT&T Network Systems, 404-573-7484/
 (T) CO: BellSouth Telecommunications; American Telephone & Telegraph
 Network Systems ST: Georgia IN: TLS SU:


RA-BR -- AT001 -- 3941 06/21/93 09:26 EDT
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Date:Jun 21, 1993
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