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GTE TO BUILD WORLD'S FASTEST DIGITAL TRANSMISSION SYSTEM AND LARGEST SELF-HEALING FIBER-BASED TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK IN THE COUNTRY

 IRVING, Texas, June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- GTE Telephone Operations today announced it will build advanced fiber optic highways in 12 states including Florida. This will allow customers access to the world's fastest digital transmission system and the largest self-healing fiber- based telecommunications network in the country.
 The initiative will include installation of 50 fiber optic rings and related equipment -- known as Synchronous Optical Network or SONET -- in 1993 and early 1994. Following these initial installations, additional rings and equipment will be added during the following years. The first of GTE's SONET rings already is in service in the Los Angeles area.
 GTE's network investment for this infrastructure will exceed $240 million. Of that amount, $170 million is projected to be spent during the next three years for SONET electronics equipment, and the remainder will be allocated for the addition of fiber optic cables.
 The SONET rings improve the competitive footing of business customers and communities by speeding the flow of information and assuring uninterrupted service, even if the fiber cable is cut or switching equipment is disrupted. Economic growth also will get a boost through SONET's ability to offer new services without major changes in the network.
 SONET's biggest advantages include uninterrupted service, especially during emergencies and disasters; the ability to perform high-speed data transmissions; and, eventually, video on demand. It's all made possible by fiber optics and advanced fiber transmission systems.
 The rings can transmit information at rates up to 2.488 billion bits per second (bps). Using a SONET transmission rate, a 500-page novel can be transmitted in slightly more than two seconds. By contrast, a typical high-speed data circuit (1.544 million bps) would take more than an hour to transmit a 500-page book and a typical voice channel (64,000 bps) would take approximately a day.
 In addition, the SONET rings will dramatically improve GTE's network reliability through their ability to reroute transmissions in as little as 60 milliseconds. This "self-healing" ability will give GTE customers uninterrupted service if cables or equipment are damaged at any point on the ring.
 Enhanced remote maintenance capabilities allow centralized monitoring and maintenance of the SONET networks. This augments the network reliability for the customer.
 Twelve rings are planned for the Tampa Bay area in 1993, nine to be installed for fiber-to-the-business applications. Initially in the Tampa Bay area, SONET fiber ring technology will link five central offices and approximately 20 large business customers.
 GTE has selected AT&T Network Systems as its primary vendor for SONET ring equipment. GTE's other SONET equipment vendor is Northern Telecom.
 GTE Florida, Inc., part of GTE Telephone Operations-South Area, provides local voice and data telecommunications services to customers through approximately 1.8 million access lines in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota and Manatee counties. South Area is one of four geographic operating units within GTE Telephone Operations. GTE Telephone Operations, the largest U.S.-based local telephone company, currently serves approximately 16 million domestic customer lines in 40 states and 2.3 million international lines in three countries.
 -0- 6/15/93
 /NOTE TO EDITOR: Background on SONET technology follows:
 SONET BACKGROUND
 -- SONET -- an acronym for Synchronous Optical Network -- is a new worldwide standard for transmission of a wide variety of light signals over optical fiber. SONET allows different fiber systems to interconnect efficiently and to do so with an unprecedented level of accuracy and customer control.
 -- A SONET ring works by synchronizing clocks at switching centers throughout the ring. Individual signals are synchronized to these clocks before being sent on the network. Without SONET, there is no synchronization between individual signals.
 -- Without SONET, unsynchronized signals are bundled -- much like railroad cars are bundled to form trains. Bundling makes it easier to transport large numbers of signals simultaneously. At each stop, the "train" is broken into its individual components. Signals bound for that location are pulled from the bundle ("train") and delivered to the appropriate destination. Remaining signals are rebundled and sent back on the network to the next stop.
 -- With SONET, signals are still bundled. However, because they are synchronized to a common time recognized by all switching centers, the network can retrieve individual signals from a "moving train" rather than stopping the train, breaking it into individual pieces and rebundling the remainder.
 -- All parts of a SONET network have synchronous communication with all the other parts, thus improving network efficiency.
 -- For customers, a major benefit is faster transmission of data. For example, a single voice call typically is transmitted at 64,000 bits per second (bps). A typical high-speed data line transmits at 1.544 million bps. GTE's SONET rings will be capable of transmitting information between 155.52 million bps (OC-3 rate) and approximately 2.5 billion bps (OC-48 rate), the fastest digital transmission in the world.
 -- SONET also improves network reliability. GTE's "self-healing" SONET rings will maintain uninterrupted service if a cable is cut or equipment fails at any point along the ring. The SONET ring consists of a loop of multiple fiber optic cables. Signals are generated by customers at various points along the ring. SONET sends identical signals in opposite directions on the loop. One direction is a primary channel, while the other serves as a protect channel, or backup. If a disruption occurs at any point on the primary channel, the network automatically re-routes transmissions to the protect channel, allowing customers to enjoy uninterrupted service.
 This automatic recovery can occur in as little as 60 milliseconds.
 CONTACT: John Strickling of GTE Florida, 800-282-7751/


CO: GTE Florida ST: Florida IN: TLS SU: PDT

AW-JB -- FL004 -- 2209 06/15/93 14:27 EDT
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Date:Jun 15, 1993
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