Bell Atlantic adds data to network upgrades

July 1, 1998

Bell Atlantic adds data to network upgrades

By STEPHEN HARDY

Having addressed the future configuration of its local access and transport area infrastructure (see Lightwave, May 1998, page 1), Bell Atlantic (New York City) will begin construction this month of a next-generation data packet-switched network for its anticipated long-distance needs. The network will be based on both Synchronous Optical Network (sonet) and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (atm) protocols to support such services as virtual private networks, work-at-home, and audio and video streaming over the World Wide Web.

The network also will be able to emulate a circuit-switched voice network, which will set the stage for the regional Bell operating company to offer a package of long-distance voice and data services over the same network, should it receive the necessary regulatory approval.

Bell Atlantic tapped Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) as the first supplier for the network. A five-year, $200 million contract calls for Lucent to provide sonet and wavelength-division multiplexing equipment, its 5ess Digital Voice Switch, and its OneVision advanced administration and operations support system software. According to a Lucent source, the contract calls for delivery of the PacketStar Access Concentrator 120, FT 2000 sonet equipment, and a suite of wavelength-division multiplexing equipment from the company`s WaveStar product line. The composition of the WaveStar deliveries will be determined as Bell Atlantic`s network takes shape, the source says.

Bell Atlantic spokesperson Larry Plumb said that additional vendors for the network would be announced shortly, some as soon as this fall. Other pieces of the network still to be purchased include atm equipment and Internet protocol packet routers.

The initial network deployment will connect hubs in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. Data routing hubs will be extended over the next two years to serve such markets as Providence, RI, and other New England cities; locations in upstate New York such as Albany; and such mid-Atlantic locales as Pittsburgh, PA; Richmond, VA; and Charleston, WV. Delivery of services over the network could begin by the first of next year. q

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