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Cable & Wireless to Build Next Generation, High Capacity Internet Network in the USA
14 Apr 1999

$670 Million Investment Will Position Company as Leading Provider of Internet Services and Solutions.

Cable & Wireless announced today that it will invest $670 million in the USA to develop the next generation high capacity Internet network that will fully integrate Internet, data, voice and messaging communications.

The significant investment to build the industrys fastest, high capacity Internet network backbone signifies Cable & Wireless' strategy to be the leading facilities-based provider of Internet-based communications services and solutions.

During the next two years, Cable & Wireless will build the new USA Internet network, which will link more than 60 metropolitan areas across the United States. The new network, which will deploy transmission equipment at 9.6 Gigabit/second and utilize the most advanced routing and switching technology available, will enable Cable & Wireless to manage Internet, data, voice and messaging communications traffic on one network.

"The significant investment in building the next generation high capacity Internet network is a clear demonstration of Cable & Wireless' goal to be the number one provider of Internet communications services and solutions," said Denny Matteucci, chief executive officer of Cable & Wireless USA. "In addition, this investment underscores our commitment to be a customer-focused company by anticipating our customers' needs for the capacity, speed and reliability to manage their mission-critical business operations in the Internet economy."

Cable & Wireless USA has entered into an agreement with Level 3 Communications to purchase 15,000 route miles of dark fibre that will enable Cable & Wireless to reach more than 50 metropolitan areas across the United States. Cable & Wireless will build state-of-the-art Internet facilities in each of the metropolitan locations.

In addition to the purchase of dark fibre and a nation-wide facilities build-out, Cable & Wireless USA will also acquire advanced routing, switching and transmission technology. Cable & Wireless USA has already initiated the purchase of Juniper Networks M40 routers and FORE Systems' ForeRunner ASX 4000 ATM switches.

"Cable & Wireless USA is creating the most advanced Internet network," said Randy Catoe, vice president of Internet engineering, operations, solutions and support at Cable & Wireless USA. The technology that we are deploying in this network represents today's cutting-edge fibre optic routing, switching and transmission technologies, which will deliver the speed our customers need to compete in tomorrow's electronic marketplace."

The network will link with the Cable and Wireless plc global network - including its Internet backbone in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. Cable & Wireless USA expects to complete the network during 2001, and will bring segments of the network on-line before then as they are completed.

Graham Wallace, chief executive of Cable and Wireless plc, said: "This significant investment emphasises our determination to be the clear leader in the Internet and Data market. Combined with our unrivalled presence in Asia Pacific and our announced plans for Europe, it will ensure Cable & Wireless is uniquely placed to be the premier provider of Internet and Data solutions and services worldwide."

About Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless USA is the American subsidiary of Cable and Wireless plc, one of the world's leading providers of integrated communications and a major global carrier of communications traffic: Internet, data, voice and video. Its businesses around the world offer a range of services spanning interactive entertainment and information, broadband data, Internet access and broadcast television, as well as fixed and mobile voice.

Cable & Wireless is one of the world's largest carriers of international traffic, provides mobile communications in more than 30 countries and operates the world's largest, most advanced cableship fleet. Cable and Wireless plc is listed on the Stock Exchanges of London, New York (NYSE: CWP) and Frankfurt.

For more information about Cable & Wireless visit http://www.cwusa.com.

For more information:
Kelley Gannon
Cable & Wireless USA
+1 703 760-3068

Nikki Laughlin
Cable & Wireless USA
+1 703 760-1574

Peter Eustace
Group Head of Media Relations
Cable and Wireless plc
+44 (0)171 315 4495

Clare Brown
Media Relations Manager
Cable and Wireless plc
+44 (0)171 315 6759