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e.spire Aspires to Become National ISP

e.spire Communications Inc. Wednesday announced a major expansion plan for its Internet capabilities in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

For the first time ever, e.spire plans to extend its predominantly business-oriented dialup services to residential customers in 25 U.S. cities. Additionally, e.spire also plans to offer high-speed Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service in New York, Atlanta and Florida.

Expansion plans for e.spire include offering dial-up Internet service to residential customers in 25 new markets by the end of the first quarter. e.spire's expansion of Internet services in the new markets will position the company among the ranks of national Internet providers.

"e.spire is emerging as one of the industry's data leaders in 1999, with the ability to offer customers the full range of dial-up and dedicated Internet capabilities, powered by our own robust data network and service infrastructure," said Anthony J. Pompliano, e.spire chairman and chief executive officer.

Vernon Irvin, e.spire Communication's newly named executive vice president of corporate development and strategy said the company is now ready to move ahead as a competitive nationwide ISP.

In each of the 25 new markets, the e.spire infrastructure consists of extensive local fiber optic networks equipped with Lucent 5ES- 2000 digital switches, Newbridge MainStreet Xpress ATM switches and Cisco Internet routers.

e.spire's planned DSL offering will provide dedicated Internet access to small and home office businesses that require high-bandwidth Internet applications such as videoconferencing, extranets, and remote access.

Late in 1998, e.spire became a Tier 1 Internet company by expanding its Internet backbone and signing key private and public peering agreements. e.spire was one of the industry's first companies to offer integrated products including bundled Internet access, local and long distance voice, Frame Relay and ATM.