News Release

BellSouth Selects Cisco as A Primary Vendor to Develop Industry's First Optical-Based Internet Exchange

Cisco to Provide IP + Optical and MPLS-aware Systems to Build Out 70% of BellSouth's FloridaMIX: A Revolutionary, Next Generation Internet Exchange Capable of Delivering High-speed Performance and New World Capabilities to Internet Customers
Oct 31, 2000

ATLANTA, OCTOBER 31, 2000 - BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) announced today the selection of Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, as a primary vendor to build out the first IP + Optical Internet exchange. The exchange will be the first Network Access Point (NAP) in the country to incorporate optical networking technology, and will be capable of speeds ranging from DS-3 and Gigabit Ethernet, to OC-192. The unprecedented bandwidth, speed and performance of the exchange will maximize connectivity between major ISP's Point of Presence (PoP) located in South Florida as well as to Internet service providers (ISPs), web hosting providers, and other Internet-service related businesses.

BellSouth's "Florida Multimedia Internet eXchange" (FloridaMIX) will be the first of its kind to utilize a unique mix of high speed IP routers plus supercharged SONET/SDH optical transport platforms, specifically Cisco's GSR 12016, ONS 15454 optical transport platform, Catalyst 6500 switching solution, and Cisco MPLS software, to carry Internet traffic through the region's multiple termination points for fiber optic cables. The Internet exchange will effectively link data traffic between the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Western Europe.

The Cisco 12000 Series router, with carrier-class reliability, true Quality of Service (QoS) support, and rich MPLS feature set will enable BellSouth's innovative wide-area, fiber optic infrastructure to support next generation multimedia applications like voice over Internet, video over Internet, and other digital media and broadband capabilities. Sophisticated provisioning and network management capabilities enabled by Cisco's MPLS software will allow BellSouth to dynamically turn-up additional network capacity in an environment where traffic demand doubles every two to three months.

"The Florida MIX BellSouth is building must have the ability to support not just today's Internet requirements, but the next generation Internet as well. BellSouth's MIX design offers the greatest flexibility and most robust exchange applications in the Internet today. Cisco's part of our MIX solution provides BellSouth with a high level of performance as well as scalability in an easy to manage package. This, in turn, allows BellSouth to offer this untapped potential to our customers," said Ray Smets, Vice President - Internet and Data Services, BellSouth. "With the compelling combination of IP and optical technology added to the scalability and multiservice capabilities of this exchange platform, BellSouth is able to deliver the potential for high capacity, scalable Internet services of the future, today."

FloridaMIX will set another benchmark as the first NAP worldwide to utilize, Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS), a key enabler of new world infrastructure, over IP. By deploying MPLS across the NAP, the core is effectively transformed into an interface agnostic layer, a generic IP core that can support any mix of interfaces. Traffic entering the Internet exchange from Latin America could be switched over an MPLS path over an IP (Packet over SONET) OC-48 interface from the 12000 Series Router. Previously, NAPs could only switch at maximum rates of OC-12. BellSouth's MPLS enabled NAP provides a range of DS-3 to OC-192 optical connectivity between Tier 3 and Tier 1 ISPs, effectively supercharging old world architectures.

"The industry is in an epic time of change due to the Internet, with patterns of market disruption emerging. There is a 'science' to understanding and determining how to navigate these disruptions to your advantage," said Kevin Kennedy, Senior Vice President of Cisco's Service Provider Line of Business. "BellSouth has embraced this concept, and is executing to maximize the opportunities that disruptions create. We are pleased to team with BellSouth as they continue to increase their network capabilities to meet the burgeoning demands of high-bandwidth applications and services."