News Release

THUS Awarded "Cisco Powered Network" Status for National Ethernet Lan-Extension Services

THUS Announces first National Ethernet customers: the Scottish Executive, Baillie Gifford and Imperial College
May 27, 2003

UNITED KINGDOM - London, May 27, 2003 - THUS plc, one of the UK's leading providers of voice, networking, Internet and contact centre services, today announced that it has been awarded the Cisco Powered Network designation for its National Ethernet LAN extension services. The Cisco Powered Network program is a co-marketing program including a designation which represents commitment by leading service providers around the world to build their networks based on Cisco's industry-leading technology. Demand for THUS's market leading National Ethernet service is highlighted today with the announcement of a number of new customers including the Scottish Executive, Baillie Gifford and Imperial College - helping deliver new revenues to the Company.

"THUS is the first and currently the only provider of National Ethernet services on a UK-wide basis to carry the Cisco Powered Network designation. This status helps THUS's customers understand that its services are delivered over a reliable, high performance Cisco-based architecture designed with secure, Quality of Service based applications in mind," said Duncan Mitchell, Vice President and Managing Director, UK and Ireland, Cisco Systems.

"THUS National Ethernet provides us with a high-quality cost-effective network linking multiple sites at broadband speeds," said Colin Lennox, Technical Services Manager at Baillie Gifford - one of the UK's leading independent investment management firms. "National Ethernet delivers us quality and reliability through tight service-level agreements, underpinned by the widely recognised Cisco Powered Network designation. The service also provides us with extensive customization and flexibility so that we can easily adapt to developments at a strategic company level or in the wider economy."

"Ethernet is becoming the most reliable and cost-effective way to transport and deliver broadband applications and services," said Phil Male, Chief Operating Officer of THUS Plc. "It has only been four months since the launch of National Ethernet and we are already seeing significant demand for point-to-point Ethernet services. We expect 2003 to be the year when demand for Ethernet really takes off and we believe that the Cisco Powered Network designation will clearly mark THUS out as the supplier of choice for UK businesses."

THUS also announced today that it has selected Omnetica, one of Europe's leading system integrators, to support the marketing and delivery of City and National Ethernet to enterprises. Omnetica will work with THUS on the sales-driven expansion of THUS's Cisco-based Ethernet network, in addition to helping market Ethernet services to its blue chip customer base.

National Ethernet addresses an ever-increasing need for all the services available on a company's LAN to be quickly and easily accessible to all employees of a company, regardless of their location. This demand has accelerated as companies look towards storage area networks and disaster recovery providers to host mission critical data and as the workforce becomes increasingly mobile.

Ethernet already powers most company LANs, but for the majority of companies when traffic enters the leased line Wide Area Network (WAN) to travel to another office, it can slow to less than 10% of the LAN speed. National Ethernet removes this bandwidth bottleneck and opens the door to improved performance, greater usability in comparison to traditional data services and new ways of working whilst at the same time simplifying the overall network architecture that a company has to manage.

The Cisco Powered Network program was developed as a way for service providers to reinforce the quality and security of their end-to-end networks and differentiate the value of their service offerings.

THUS, Cisco and Omnetica are hosting a Metro Ethernet Networking Forum seminar on 26th June 2003 in London. For more information, the agenda and to register, please visit, and use registration code S2109.


About THUS

THUS plc provides communications solutions to business customers throughout the UK under the THUS and Demon brands. In an industry punctuated by inexperience THUS can draw upon a knowledge base established over more than a decade in the delivery of data, telecoms and Internet services.

THUS delivers both standard and bespoke solutions to address customers' existing business needs and works hand in hand with customers to develop new business opportunities. The Company's record in the creation of innovative new services is complimented by an award winning focus on quality and full certification for Voice, Data, Internet and Contact Centres under the ISO9001 standard.

THUS is listed on the London Stock Exchange. For further information visit and

About National Ethernet

National Ethernet provides customers with services with bandwidths up to 1Gbit/s and includes speeds to match traditional 10Mbps, 100Mbps and GigE LAN networks at one of the lowest cost per Mbps per month. In anticipation of increasing bandwidth requirements National Ethernet also allows customers to request increases in trunk bandwidth as and when they require it. Both unprotected and protected circuit options are available, bypassing geographical barriers and local loop issues, providing high levels of security and quality of service for the customer.

To offer greatest flexibility and cost efficiency in comparison to traditional data services, the connection bandwidth can be variable. For 'last mile' connections from THUS's POP, the bandwidth can be wirespeed at 10/100 Mbps or 1 Gbps. On the backbone, the bandwidth options are totally flexible, selectable incrementally from 1 Mbps to 1 Gbps with options to vary capacity at short notice to meet individual customer needs. The customer is provided with standard Ethernet interface but the bandwidth can be tailored to actual customer requirements, allowing customers to pay for the bandwidth they need.

With 95% of WAN traffic generated by LAN-to-LAN communication, Gartner Group estimate that the market for Gigabit Ethernet-based LAN extensions will be worth #146m in 2002, growing to #616m in 2003, #1580m in 2004 and #2364m in 2005. National Ethernet also provides companies with the means by which to consolidate their IT infrastructure and support into one location, significantly reducing operating costs.

One of the key applications enabled by THUS National Ethernet is Storage Area Networking (SAN) and Disaster Recovery Back Up (DR). Data is increasingly the most important asset for companies and each year companies create more and more valuable data that has to be managed, stored, and easily restored. SAN enables this by allowing data to be stored in a separate network, removing the burden of storing, accessing and backing-up data from the LAN, which is then free to continue day-to-day processes at maximum performance. When implemented with Advanced Hosting, National Ethernet provides companies with a real-time, robust and transparent way to interconnect their storage systems, safeguard critical data, optimise resources and reduce operating costs in comparison to traditional data services.

About Baillie Gifford

Baillie Gifford manages funds for some of the world's leading institutions. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, the company continues to attract and retain some of the best people in the industry and is one of the UK's leading independent investment management firms.