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Cogent Secures Big Bucks for Buildout

Cogent Communications Inc. Monday raised $90 million in second-round funding to continue its fiber optic network expansion plan.

Combined with its first-round investments and a $280 million contract with Cisco Systems Inc., Cogent has secured nearly $400 million in its efforts to offer 100 megabits per second Internet access speeds nationwide.

Dave Schaeffer, Cogent chief executive officer, said the funding would help keep operations going until the network is completed.

"We are extremely pleased with the quality of sponsorship we have received," Schaeffer said. "This second-round funding enables Cogent to expedite the rollout and expansion of its next-generation network and provides the means to ensure we have the highest quality team supporting the process."

In March, Cogent contracted with Cisco to build a network utilizing its OC-192 backbone to create an end-to-end, all-optical network reaching across 13 U.S. cities including New York, San Francisco and Dallas.

Because the backbone is completely owned by Cogent, users do not have to share traffic with other IP traffic. Cisco provides all the technology used in the network. Officials said the network would allow customers to experience connection times 100 times faster than T-1 connection, at a lower price.

Kevin Kennedy, Cisco senior vice president of service provider line of business, said the network setup means savings for its customers.

"This all optical, IP architecture will drive down the cost per megabit delivered, by more than 100 times over traditional telecommunications networks," Kennedy said.