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Con Edison Communications, Edison Carrier Solutions, Progress Telecom Create Strategic Alliance
East Coast-West Coast Alliance of 'Carrier's Carriers' Provides Key Metro Connectivity

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 22, 2001-- Three of the nation's major telecommunications carriers, Con Edison Communications, Edison Carrier Solutions and Progress Telecom, have agreed to jointly market each other's services in an alliance that will give their customers easy, broad and deep access to traffic origination and termination points in several of the nation's most desirable metropolitan markets, as well as connectivity to Latin America.

The agreement -- an East Coast-West Coast alliance among major telecommunications carriers -- will establish a combined network that features one of the largest footprints in the nation providing fiber optic broadband local access to key U.S. markets. This combined network leverages the regional strengths each of the three carriers brings to the alliance. Con Edison Communications, Edison Carrier Solutions and Progress Telecom are super regional "carrier's carriers" that serve the wholesale telecommunications market, including carriers, Internet Service Providers and wireless providers. The alliance members now can use each others' metro area services to provide complete end-to-end (i.e., long haul) service solutions to their customers.

The three companies offer services that are both in high demand and directly complementary. Con Edison Communications, a provider of predominantly diverse network solutions for the metro-New York area, is offering last-mile legacy-free connectivity within two blocks of metropolitan New York City business real estate. Edison Carrier Solutions, a division of electric utility Southern California Edison, built its sophisticated telecommunications network using its own internal construction workforce and has the largest competitive carrier network in Southern California, substantially diverse from incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) cable routes. Progress Telecom combines extensive long haul network coverage from New York to South Florida with deep metro network connections in first, second and third tier markets throughout the Southeast.

The companies will work together to enhance customer relationships, develop joint product offerings, and complement each other's capabilities. Con Edison Communications, Edison Carrier Solutions and Progress Telecom offer wholesale broadband services in first, second and third-tier markets. Their broadband fiber optic services incorporate SONET architecture and state-of-the-art Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) wavelength capability to transmit information in the form of voice, data and video. SONET and DWDM services range from DS-1 up to OC-192 capacities.

"As an emerging carrier's carrier in the eastern market for metropolitan fiber optic services, Con Edison Communications will be able to provide its New York customers nationwide connectivity through this alliance," said Peter Rust, president and CEO of Con Edison Communications. "We look forward to cross-selling cutting-edge products and services with diversity-focused partners who have established robust fiber optic network services in many major metropolitan markets."

"While service providers have responded well to the need for capacity in the long haul market," said Pedro Pizarro, vice president and general manager of Edison Carrier Solutions, "there is tremendous opportunity to satisfy customer demand for bandwidth and connectivity in metropolitan areas."

"Alliances such as this one enable us to leverage our capabilities and expand services to customers nationally and internationally," said Ron Mudry, Progress Telecom president and CEO.

With the alliance, the combined broadband fiber optic network miles total 7,430 route miles and 240,900 strand (fiber) miles. Combined building and point-of-presence (POP) access includes nearly 300 locations.

Exceptional regional strengths, state-of-the-art technological infrastructures and significant telecommunications experience have come together in a unique service alliance that provides extensive broadband services to customers in first, second and third tier markets coast-to-coast.

About Con Edison Communications

Con Edison Communications, Inc. (CEC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. CEC, a carrier's carrier, offers a comprehensive range of value-added products and services designed to enhance the performance of its customers' networks. CEC provides managed data transport services, leased capacity services, and plans to offer in-building optical distribution to multiple classes of customers including long-distance carriers, competitive local exchange carriers and Internet, cable, wireless and video companies. CEC's NYC metro area network is expected to interconnect over 1,000 commercial buildings, POPs and Verizon Central Offices by the end of 2005. Additional information about CEC is available at http://www.electricfiber.com./

Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE:ED) is one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $10 billion in annual revenues and $17 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through two regulated utility subsidiaries and four competitive energy and telecommunications businesses. For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit the Consolidated Edison, Inc. web site at http://www.conedison.com./

About Edison Carrier Solutions Edison Carrier Solutions, a division of Southern California Edison, is a carrier's carrier providing broadband capacity services to wholesale customers including carriers, Internet service providers, wireless service providers, application service providers and cable companies. Its fully diverse, 2,400+ route-mile, 106,000 strand mile metropolitan area fiber optic network extends throughout the southern region of California. On-net locations include 69 incumbent local exchange carrier central offices and 33 carrier hotels and customer points-of-presence with nearly all locations on diverse ring configurations. For more information about Edison Carrier Solutions, visit the company's Web site at http://www.edisonconnect.com.

An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California. For more information visit the company website at http://www.sce.com./

About Progress Telecom

Founded in 1998, Progress Telecom is a carrier's carrier providing wholesale telecommunications services throughout the eastern United States. Progress Telecom incorporates approximately 118,000 fiber miles and 5,000 route miles in its network including over 150 Points-of-Presence (POPS). The fiber network serves as the backbone of OC-192 transport that allows customers enhanced data transport capabilities in the eastern United States from New York to Miami, FL, in first, second and third tier growth markets and access to Latin America through its International Gateways. The network's utility-based infrastructure also offers fast local loop access through metropolitan fiber rings that move broadband capacity closer to the customer with 10-gigabit dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) technology. For more information about Progress Telecom, visit the company's Web site at http://www.progresstelecom.com.

Progress Telecom's parent company, Progress Energy (NYSE:PGN) is a Fortune 250 diversified holding company headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., with more than 20,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $7 billion in annual revenues. The company's diverse portfolio includes two major electric utility companies, CP&L and Florida Power, as well as NCNG, SRS, Progress Rail, Progress Telecom and an important new organization, Energy Ventures, which was created to manage fuel extraction, manufacturing and delivery; merchant generation; and energy marketing and trading. These companies serve 2.8 million customers across the Southeast, providing electricity, natural gas, energy services and broadband capacity. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company's Web site at: http://www.progress-energy.com/.

CONTACT: Con Edison Communications
L. Kathryn Lee, 212/290-9540
kathrynlee@alavin.com
or
Edison Carrier Solutions
Paul Klein, 626/302-2255
paul.klein@sce.com
or
Progress Telecom
Allan Bakalar, 727/820-5507
abakalar@progresstelecom.com


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