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MFN, AboveNet Implement $1.4 Billion Fiber Expansion Plan

Metromedia Fiber Network, Inc. subsidiary AboveNet Communications, Inc. Monday initiated a $1.4 billion broadband infrastructure expansion plan.

When completed, the expansion will light nearly 29,000 route miles of long-haul fiber in North America and Europe. The purely optical infrastructure will be capable of handling multi-terabit per second capacity in order to process bandwidth intensive applications.

The expansion will reach more than 67 cities and 14 new AboveNet Internet Service Exchange (ISX) facilities. The overbuilt network design will enable millions of users to simultaneously receive video, audio, and other data-rich broadband applications that are not possible over existing congested Internet networks.

Nick Tanzi, MFN (MFNX) president and chief operating officer, said the optical buildout underscores the value of the marriage between MFN and AboveNet.

"No other provider can deliver such a comprehensive network of optical Internet architecture, connectivity and an end-to-end presence directly into customer premises," Tanzi said.

The network will seamlessly connect all AboveNet facilities, including its three joint venture operations in Austria, Germany and the U.K., with AboveNet's East Coast and West Coast hubs in Vienna, Va., and San Jose, Calif.

David Rand, MFN and AboveNet chief technical officer, said with our own end-to-end fiber network the company's can avoid traditional telco delays and respond to customers' expansion needs immediately

"AboveNet is deploying an all-optical, terabit IP architecture to expand and extend the company's value proposition of better connectivity and reliability to millions more Internet end users," David Rand said.

The expansion will be completed in the next 12 to 18 months. The first nine AboveNet facilities are scheduled to open this year, with the remaining five facilities scheduled to open in 2001.