News Release

CompuServe Network Services Selects Cisco Multiservice Networking to Deploy Fully Managed Integrated Services

Integrated Voice, Fax and Data over Frame Relay Delivers Significant Savings to Customers
Jan 27, 1998

ComNet '98, Washington, D.C. -- January 27, 1998 -- CompuServe Network Services will become one of the first managed service providers to offer integrated data, voice and fax services over its Frame Relay network. Utilizing the data and voice capabilities of the Cisco IGX Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) switch at the core of its Frame Relay network, CompuServe Network Services will deploy new Cisco MC3810x multiservice access concentrators at customer locations to provide them with cost-effective voice and fax transmissions.

The new service, available by the second quarter of 1998, enables the company's Frame Relay customers to reduce overall telecommunications and network management costs. Domestic and international companies with multiple locations connected by frame to run intra-company voice, fax and data applications can potentially save thousands of dollars per month.

CompuServe Network Services Adds Significant Value to Network Customers

"The Cisco MC3810 is an excellent example of how new technology can directly translate to added value for our customers," stated Dennis Brouwer, vice president, product marketing, CompuServe Network Services.

With the Cisco MC3810, CompuServe Network Services can transparently network and interoperate voice over Frame Relay from smaller customer access locations to backbone sites across private leased and/or public service infrastructures. And as a fully managed service, the new integrated data, voice and fax service is part of CompuServe Network Services' commitment to providing strategic data communication solutions that shield customers from the economic and technical risks of managing complex communication networks.

Cisco MC3810 Seamlessly Integrates Data, Voice and Video

The Cisco MC3810 is the newest member of the Cisco MC3800 series of multiservice access concentrators. It combines Cisco IOS software routing functionality with compressed, switched voice and clear channel video across Frame Relay and ATM services. The standards-based Cisco MC3810 connects to any standard private branch exchange (PBX) or videoconferencing system and is interoperable with all other Cisco internetworking devices. With routing, voice and fax capabilities in a single, compact device, the Cisco MC3810 requires little footprint at a customer premises.

Using voice compression, the Cisco MC3810 and Cisco IGX switch transport voice across enterprise infrastructures, extending enterprise backbone capabilities to branch offices at a fraction of the bandwidth and the cost of traditional multiplexers or Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) switches. On the network side, the Cisco MC3810 operates on facilities from 56 kilobits per second (kbps) to 2.048 megabits per second (Mbps), providing maximum flexibility and investment protection as networking requirements change. On the telephony side, the Cisco MC3810 connects to any standard PBX switch, key system or telephone, and provides up to 30 channels of voice, with compression down to 8 kbps using the standard G.729 CS-ACELP algorithm. The Cisco MC3810 also supports an extensive array of call-handling capabilities for voice connections.

Teaming Up to Lead the Market

CompuServe Network Services first teamed up with StrataCom in 1988 to build one of the world's first Frame Relay networks. StrataCom was acquired by Cisco in 1996. As part of its continuing commitment to provide leading-edge services, CompuServe Network Services has also become one of the first Cisco Powered Network program participants. Under the program, the two companies are working together to offer reliable, secure and high-performance networking services. The relationship highlights CompuServe Network Services' and Cisco's focus on using intelligent broadband networking, including Internet Protocol (IP), to deliver enhanced connectivity and business-critical applications to corporate clients.

"Our relationship with Cisco, a recognized worldwide leader in networking, ensures that CompuServe Network Services is offering customers best-of-breed, fully-integrated communication solutions," stated Brouwer. CompuServe Network Services also plans to integrate this technology into the company's ATM and IP service offerings.

About CompuServe Network Services

Established in 1982, CompuServe Network Services, a leading global network integrator, provides more than 1,400 customers with complete, fully integrated, Internet, Intranet and Extranet connectivity solutions in 114 countries. A division of CompuServe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSRV), CompuServe Network Services provides the network for CompuServe's CSi online service and SPRYNET direct Internet access service. Additional information on CompuServe Network Services can be found on the World Wide Web at

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