News Release

FastWeb Delivers Next-Generation Broadband Services with Cisco

Provides Integrated Voice, Data and Video Services Using Cisco's Ethernet to the X (ETTx) Solution
Apr 09, 2002

LONDON, U.K., April 9, 2002 - Cisco Systems, Inc., (Nasdaq:CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today announced that FastWeb SpA, the Italian broadband telecommunications arm of e.Biscom SpA (Milan's Nuovo Mercato: EBI), is deploying a Cisco Ethernet to the X (ETTx) solution to provide business and residential customers with 10/100/1000 Mbps Internet connectivity. Cisco's Metro Ethernet solutions help enable service providers such as FastWeb to deliver profitable comprehensive, Ethernet services in a Metropolitan Area Network.

Over this connectivity, FastWeb is delivering carrier-class quality H323 voice over IP, broadcast TV, video-on-demand for residential customers and storage/back-up services, IP video surveillance, IP VPN, video conferencing and innovative video streaming services for business customers. Cisco's technology helps enable the delivery of these bundled services over Ethernet on a single optical fibre.

FastWeb, thanks to its partnership with AEM SpA, Milan's main municipal utility provider, has privileged access to existing 'rights of way' to its customers and recently obtained access to an existing cable infrastructure that will help allow FastWeb to quickly increase the number of addressable customers. This ability to lay fiber cost-effectively has driven down FastWeb's costs in deploying a "future proof" infrastructure that will now facilitate the launch of profitable real broadband services.

"From the very beginning our mission has been innovation - not only in terms of the services we supply to our customers, but in the type of technology we use to support them." says Guido Garrone, FastWeb Network Operations Director, "Our decision to select Cisco was a direct consequence of their leadership in the IP arena. Cisco was not only able to offer the key technologies, but also made it easy to set up and tune the solution to handle a mixed bundle of voice, video and data services with proper end-to-end quality of service."

FastWeb was launched in July 1999 in conjunction with its sister company Metroweb SpA, as a result of a joint venture between AEM and e.Biscom. FastWeb is dedicated to supplying a "triple play" offer (Voice-Data-Video) to both business and residential customers and currently operates in Bologna, Genoa, Turin, Milan, Naples and Rome while e.Biscom has plans to further expand international operations after its first acquisition abroad, HanseNet in Hamburg, Germany. At the end of 2001, 35,000 buildings were addressed in all of the cities where FastWeb offers its service, equivalent to 430,000 addressed households.

"Ethernet connections are fast becoming a requirement on property seekers' checklists in the Milan area," commented Enrico Deluchi, Operation Director for Cisco. "The bundled offer of 10Mbps Internet connectivity together with services such as video on demand and flat rate voice calls is very compelling for subscribers. From the network perspective, the choice of end-to-end IP provides FastWeb with flexibility and speed benefits in launching new services while keeping operating costs under control."

FastWeb's core network is based on Cisco 12000 Series routers, installed at each point of presence (POP) to connect to a leased metropolitan area backbone owned by Metroweb. Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches aggregate the connections out to the building and multi-dwelling units, where Catalyst 3524 switches provide the 'last yard' connectivity to the subscriber's apartment or business. Cisco and FastWeb worked closely with Italtel SpA in rolling out the network. Cisco's IP multicast technologies help to make the reliable delivery of multi-channel video a reality.