News Release

Planet Online Selects Cisco to Help Dixons Launch Innovative Free Internet Service in UK

Planet Online, Europe's Largest Web Services Firm, Relies on
Jan 25, 1999

Planet Online, Europe's Largest Web Services Firm, Relies on Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Servers to Help Launch Freeserve, the UK's First Free Full-Featured Internet Service

SAN JOSE, Calif., -- January 25, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced that Planet Online, a UK backbone Internet Service Provider and Europe's largest web services firm, has selected the Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Server to provide dial-up Internet access for Dixons' Freeserve, an unprecedented free Internet service for UK-based consumers.

The Freeserve service has prompted over 900,000 registered accounts to log on to the Planet Online network in less than four months. In anticipation of the demand, Planet Online placed volume orders for the Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Server to supplement its previously deployed Cisco-Powered Network, and has created the world's largest known multi-chassis multilink live network in the world, in excess of 150 Cisco access servers.

Planet Online cited several reasons for its selection of the Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Server, including its 10/100 Fast Ethernet capability, modem/ISDN support and the superior scalability and support offered by Cisco equipment.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Energis plc, which is one of the UK's largest national telecom companies, Planet Online has teamed with the Dixons Stores Group, the UK's largest electrical retailer, to help it launch the Freeserve service. Freeserve, which is wholly owned by Dixons, is the UK's first fully featured Internet service available for free, with no registration or subscription fees and no hourly on-line charges. Freeserve customers pay only a normal charge for a local rate telephone call.

In addition to Freeserve, Planet Online services over 2500 companies by hosting their web sites and services within the Planet Network Operations Center, Europe's largest high-security web farm. Planet Online has already deployed a large number of Cisco AS5300

Universal Access Servers, including both modem and ISDN dialup, as well as Cisco 7500 series routers, the Cisco Catalyst. 5500, and the

"Planet Online is impressive in its dedication to top quality and service, and has quickly leapt to the forefront among UK-based Internet Service Providers," said Berton Keith, product line manager, High End Remote Access Solutions for Cisco. "UK consumers will greatly benefit from Planet Online's services for Dixons' Freeserve."

Cisco AS5300

The Cisco AS5300 is designed to support the growing volume of dial-in and voice connections to service providers and corporate networks. It delivers optimum performance for as many as 60 voice sessions or as many as 240 concurrent analog modem calls and ISDN B channels over a single dial-in telephone number. As the next-generation Cisco universal access server, the Cisco AS5300 raises the bar for performance in high-traffic, real-world environments.

About Planet Online/Energis plc

Energis plc, the telecommunications company focused exclusively on the business marketplace, built its national network primarily along the National Grid's electricity pylon infrastructure. The company has over 6,500 kms of fiber optic cable installed throughout England and Wales, a capacity sharing agreement with Scottish Telecom and an international license. Energis offers businesses a full portfolio of national and international services together with value-added Internet and intranet services. These services include innovative telephony services, advanced Frame Relay and ATM for data transmission and enhanced voice services such as local rate, national rate and freephone.

Planet Online is a wholly owned subsidiary of Energis, having been acquired by Energis in August 1998. It was formed in July 1995 with the specific objective of providing high performance Internet and intranet solutions to the corporate business market.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

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