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Cable & Wireless, SAVVIS Sign $26 Million Deal

Cable & Wireless Tuesday signed a $26 million deal with global internetworking service provider SAVVIS Communications Inc. to expand the bandwidth of its private Internet network in 14 major U.S. cities.

The three-year deal is an extension of the two companies' service level agreements. It's designed to provide SAVVIS (SWS) with greater bandwidth and enhanced security via direct connections to Cable and Wireless' (CWP) backbone.

SAVVIS provides businesses with Internet and managed IP e-business solutions on a global scale. The company specifically targets financial institutions that need to transmit sensitive and timely data quickly and securely. The direct connection to Cable & Wireless' backbone gives SAVVIS increased network capacity for its customers.

Rob McCormick, SAVVIS chief executive officer, said its network bypasses congested areas of the Internet by directly linking to backbone providers like Cable & Wireless.

"The Cable & Wireless connection expands our tier one Internet capacity and speed, and gives us high-level SLAs," McCormick said. "Many of our customers transmit secure financial information over the SAVVIS network, and the Cable & Wireless' SLAs help us assure our customers the quality they expect of SAVVIS."

Prior to striking the new deal, Cable & Wireless supplied SAVVIS backbone connectivity in 8 major U.S. cities, as well as in Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and Australia.

Zie Rivers, Cable & Wireless North America president, said the firm was naturally pleased by the extension of its business relationship with SAVVIS.

"Both of our companies share a commitment to the customer through our industry-leading Service Level Agreements," Rivers said.

SAVVIS networks support Internet and managed IP access in 43 countries based on its private network access point architecture. Its Financial Xchange service platform connects to more than 4,500 financial institutions, including 75 of the top 100 worldwide banks and 45 of the top 50 brokerage firms.

SAVVIS serves financial institutions through its former parent company Bridge Information Systems Inc. Bridge bought 56 percent of the firm in 1999 and spun-off the Internet service provider earlier this year. SAVVIS acquired and integrated the global network of its former parent company, BRIDGE Information Systems.

Bridge is a financial information company that has 280,000 customers that it sends equity, fixed income and foreign exchange information to as part of its global service offering. When Bridge bought out SAVVIS, the deal created the world's largest non-telco Internet service provider.