News Release

Cogent Communications Selects Cisco Systems To Supply $280 Million All Optical Nationwide Backbone

Building a Revolutionary Long Haul OC-192 DWDM Network Offering Internet Access at One Hundred Times the Speed of a T1 for Half the Price
Mar 06, 2000

BALTIMORE, March 6, 2000 -- Cogent Communications, a specialized Internet Service Provider (ISP) offering high speed Internet access, announced today that it has selected Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, to create the first end-to-end, all optical network to deliver Internet access service. The $280 million contract involves building a new Cisco Powered Network optimized for Internet traffic and will offer 100 times faster access than a T-1 connection. The new architecture will reduce network costs and enable Cogent to provide its customers unparalleled bandwidth with superior economic benefits.

Cisco will provide all of the technology needed to construct the network, specifically several products from Cisco's optical solutions portfolio, the ONS 15454 and ONS 15800, as well as the 12016 Gigabit Switch Router (GSR). These evolutionary optical products will allow Cogent to deliver extremely high capacity Internet access, at 100 Megabits-per-second, directly to commercial customer premises in major metropolitan areas across the United States. Cogent's IP (Internet Protocol) backbone will connect 12 cities using OC-192 long haul Dense Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (DWDM) and will use OC-48 metro DWDM connections within each city.

"After an extremely thoughtful vendor selection process, Cogent has decided to move forward with a Cisco turnkey solution to build our network," said Dave Schaeffer, Chief Executive Officer of Cogent. "Cisco's product offering was the clear winner on several fronts including technology, availability, price and financing. With the recent addition of Pirelli's Optical Systems business to its innovative optical solutions portfolio, Cisco can now deliver the leading edge optical technology required for revolutionary networks such as ours. Cisco is the ideal supplier of Internet scale, carrier class optical network solutions, which will enable Cogent to hit the ground running in the data communications space."

Cogent's all optical IP network offers unprecedented performance due to the deployment of a nationwide OC-192 infrastructure. Through a unique network architecture, data packets remain on Cogent's 10 Gigabit, non-blocking, distance insensitive infrastructure until the furthest peering point, rather than competing with other Internet traffic as it travels cross-country.

"Both Cisco and Cogent share a similar vision, to fully utilize the advantages of next generation optical networking equipment to provide faster and more cost-effective services for our customers," said Kevin J. Kennedy, senior vice president of Cisco's Service Provider Line of Business. "This all optical, IP architecture will drive down the cost per Megabit delivered, by more than 100 times over traditional telecommunications networks. The Cogent network is a perfect illustration of Cisco's unique ability to use our Internet experience in combination with our innovative optical solutions to meet the needs of today's service providers."

Cogent's membership in the Cisco Powered Network program demonstrates its ability to provide industry-leading technology solutions and services that are based largely on Cisco solutions. A benefit of the program for Cogent is their participation in joint marketing and technology-sharing with Cisco. Cogent, along with Cisco, is helping to create a New World communications infrastructure that will enable business communities to reap the benefits of

leading-edge optical technologies.