CityNet inaugurates the fiber optic network deployment through city sewer system

CityNet Telecommunications Inc. today launched the first commercial deployment of a fiber optic network through am Albuquerque sewer system.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Feb. 20, 2001 (PRNewswire) — CityNet Telecommunications Inc. today launched the first commercial deployment of a fiber optic network through a sewer system. The first-of-a-kind deployment was conducted in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Albuquerque mayor, Jim Baca, and CityNet Telecommunications CEO, Robert G. Berger, marked the historic event by lowering CityNet's high-tech robot SAMSM (Sewer Access Module) into the first sewer pipe, and putting in motion what is considered a revolution in broadband connectivity — providing high- speed fiber optic connections directly into thousands of buildings in cities across the U.S. and internationally.

Albuquerque, Indianapolis and Omaha are the first three U.S. cities to sign license and access agreements with CityNet. CityNet is negotiating similar agreements with approximately 26 other U.S. and European cities.

"CityNet's fiber optic deployment method gives us the ability to build the most advanced last-mile broadband infrastructure that connects directly into buildings," said Berger, Chairman and CEO of the Silver Spring, Maryland-based company. "What remains the most difficult, time-consuming and capital- intensive task in Albuquerque and in cities around the world, is filling the last remaining gap in a true broadband network — the so-called last-mile."

The last-mile is the gap in the all-fiber optic broadband network — currently occupied by older and slower copper cables — between end-user buildings and the much larger "beltway" fiber optic networks that circle around cities. CityNet's sole focus is to replace that copper bottleneck with the gold standard of broadband communications mediums: fiber optics.

"This is a very significant day in Albuquerque's history and in the city's continuing efforts to build a world-class broadband infrastructure for businesses and consumers," said Mayor Baca. "We believe CityNet's unique technology and approach gives Albuquerque the most innovative way of delivering advanced high-speed communications, while protecting our city's roads and streets."

"A high-growth city like ours needs broadband communications as much as our forefathers needed the railroads. It is these types of innovations that have made Albuquerque one of America's top technology cities," Mayor Baca said, noting that the city was recently ranked as one of the "Top 10 Hottest Cities of the New Economy" by Newsweek magazine and third among America's 50 hottest cities for business relocation by Expansion Management magazine.

Experts agree that one of the greatest obstacles to the rapid deployment of broadband Internet and data services is the need to rip-up streets to lay fiber optic cable. It has become a major problem in cities around the world. For example, in Washington, DC, the city has experienced a 700% increase in the number of permit requests for fiber optic trenching, going from 59 permit requests in 1996 to 427 last year. In the high-tech area of Palo Alto, CA, the number of requests rose 300% in just one year, from 1999 to 2000.

CityNet's small computer-driven robot known as S.A.M.(SM) is equipped with cameras to install stainless steel alloy rings to support fiber optic cable inside of sewer pipes. The conduit that encases the fiber is made of the same stainless steel alloy that protects the fiber from corrosion and cuts. The 6- inch-wide, 36-inch-long, cylindrical robots are manufactured for CityNet by Ka-Te, a Swiss sewer robotics company. Ka-Te's robots have already been deployed successfully in European cities such as Hamburg and Regensberg, Germany.

As a carrier's-carrier, CityNet installs the fiber and then leases it to telecommunications companies, Internet and network service providers and others, that offer high-speed services. CityNet shares a percentage of its gross revenues with each city, in addition to inspecting, mapping and cleaning, free of charge, the sewer lines it uses.

Together with its four strategic partners, CityNet offers the first and only complete in-sewer fiber optic network deployment solution that bridges the last-mile divide. CityNet's strategic partners are Ka-Te System AG of Zurich, Switzerland, a leading sewer robotics manufacturer; Alcatel, a global leader in fiber optics, telecommunications and networking, which provides the special conduit and fiber cables for the sewer environment; CableRunner North America LLC (wholly owned subsidiary of the Vienna, Austria Water & Sewer Agency), which provides a patented in-sewer fiber optic deployment technology for man-accessible sewer pipes; and Carter & Burgess, one of the premier architecture, engineering, and construction management firms in the U.S., that helps CityNet manage the design and construction of its networks.

About CityNet
Founded in 1999, CityNet is a pioneer and leader in last mile fiber optic networking, building carrier-class, all-optical high-speed networks in high growth metro areas.

As a wholesale carrier's carrier, CityNet provides telecom carriers and network service provider customers with a broadband fiber optic infrastructure that connects directly into commercial and residential multi-tenant buildings, thereby Bridging the Last-Mile Divide(SM) that exists for these carrier customers and, ultimately, end-users of broadband services. The company uses a unique and revolutionary in-sewer deployment method to build last-mile networks in cities across the U.S. and internationally.

For further information on CityNet, please visit the CityNet website at http://www.citynettelecom.com .

SOURCE: CityNet Telecommunications Inc.

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