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New Edge Networks,Consolidated Telephone Offering Line Sharing Connections for Voice, High-Speed Internet Access in Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn. - (June 5, 2000) - This 12,000-population community in rural northern Minnesota is bridging the digital divide as one of the first cities its size in the nation to take advantage of line sharing -- the ability for consumers to surf the Internet and talk over the same phone line.

Utilizing digital subscriber line (DSL) service powered by New Edge Networks, the leading national wholesale broadband service provider in small, midsize and semirural markets, Brainerd's first residential customers using line-sharing are reaping the benefits of a concept pioneered in Minnesota that became an FCC mandate for the nation last November.

Line sharing can accelerate deployment of high-speed Internet broadband access and help close the digital divide. That's because consumers aren't forced to order and pay for extra phone lines for their computer connections. Also, in areas where telephone facilities are not available for second and third lines, line sharing becomes the fast and economical ticket for broadband access.

With line sharing, residential customers can access the public Internet at speeds up to 768 kilobits per second, compared to 28 kilobits per second for most traditional dial-up connections, without tying up the only telephone line in the home for incoming or outgoing phone calls.

For businesses with dedicated leased lines from the phone company, DSL offers speeds up to 1.1 megabits per second. In Brainerd, DSL service powered by New Edge Networks is available through Consolidated Telephone Company.

In addition to speed, other major benefits of DSL technology include an "always on" connection eliminating dialing up and waiting, secure access using dedicated facilities, and reliability because the network is monitored around the clock.

Brainerd area customers can select from among various speeds of DSL service. Monthly rates start at $69.95, which includes the always-on connection, monthly Internet service charge and unlimited usage.

"Line sharing is an important element of our strategy for bringing broadband services to underserved communities nationwide," said Dan Moffat, president, CEO and co-founder of New Edge Networks. "With this capability, we're extending our reach to customers far beyond what other providers are doing in larger markets. It's a great victory for consumers."

Moffat saluted the "leading-edge efforts of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the FCC for mandating line sharing across America."

Separately, New Edge Networks has negotiated line-sharing agreements with USWEST and BellSouth, and is negotiating similar agreements with other major incumbent local telephone companies nationwide.

In Minnesota, New Edge Networks also provides service in Austin, Bemidji, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Duluth, Owatonna, Rochester, Shoreview, St. Cloud and Winona. The company also provides service in more than 100 locations, representing more than 75 cities and towns in 10 states.

About New Edge Networks

Based in Vancouver, Wash., New Edge Networks is the leading national wholesale broadband services provider in small, midsize and semi-rural markets. The company's Midwest Region is based in Minneapolis and provides service in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Founded in June 1999, New Edge Networks is backed by top-tier private venture firms, global financial institutions and worldwide technology firms. These include: Accel Partners, Comdisco Ventures, Crosspoint Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs & Co., Greylock, Intel Corporation, Meritech Capital Partners, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Newbridge Networks. The company's Web site address is www.newedgenetworks.com


Contact:
Michele Sadwick
(404) 748-7255


ATTN: New Edge Networks news releases contain information that is accurate as of the date they are issued. Information contained in past news releases may become out of date and the company does not assume responsibility for updating information contained in past news releases.

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