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Universal Access and 360networks Sign $25M Deal

Chicago-based Universal Access Inc. and global-network services provider 360networks yesterday announced an agreement that promises to provide more broadband network connections to telecos, ISPs and ASPs in North America. 360networks' headquarters are in Vancouver, B.C. and it's U.S. operations are based out of Seattle.

While not disclosing the details, the companies said the initial phase of the agreement is valued up to $25 million. Upon completion of the initial phase, both parties may "continue to expand their relationship."

In essence, the agreement will allow Universal Access to purchase capacity on 360networks' global network. This will enable Universal Access to provide its carrier customers with network services on major routes between its Universal Transport Exchange (UTX) interconnection facilities.

"The agreement will allow Universal Access to meet the long-haul needs of its customers by providing capacity on 360networks' seamless, scalable network," said Jimmy Byrd, chief operating officer of 360networks. "By leveraging each other's strengths, Universal Access and 360networks can deliver customers enhanced access to services more quickly and cost-efficiently."

In return, 360networks will obtain access through Universal Access' UTX interconnection facilities in metropolitan cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. 360networks' presence in the UTX facilities, coupled with Universal Access' Universal Information Exchange (UIX) databases, will allow 360networks to generate additional revenue from Universal Access' carrier and ISP customers.

"Universal Access' expertise in rapid provisioning of high-speed circuits will accelerate 360networks' ability to expand into key local markets," said Robert Pommer, Universal Access vice chairman and president of client services. "We believe that this agreement is just the tip of the iceberg in forming a strong and ongoing relationship with them.