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PSINet Taps Cisco for Backbone Services

PSINet Inc. Monday said it has chosen Cisco Systems Inc. to provide it with dial-up voice connectivity, optical equipment and related services for PSINet's core backbone network, PSIVoices Services.

Terms of the alliance call for the companies to work together in three initial areas of business, including co-marketing of each other's products and services. Financial details were not disclosed.

To provide dial-up Internet connectivity, Cisco will offer its AS5800 access equipment and complementary services throughout PSINet's backbone network. The dial-in technologies will support PSINet's wholesale Internet analog and ISDN dialup clients such as ISPs and telco carriers offering Internet services. Individual AS5800s enable simultaneous access for multiple users supporting more than 180 megabits per second (Mbps) of data throughput on the PSINet network.

PSINet said it has certified and plans to deploy Cisco's AS5300 technology featuring voice/fax capabilities. The products will support PSINet IntraNet and PSIVoice clients and is part of PSINet's strategic network enhancements for the initial phase development of a market for Internet Voice. PSINet said that during the first half of 1999, Cisco is just one of several developers contributing to its PSIVoice strategy.

PSINet expects to offer current and new PSINet customers integrated voice and data Internet access through a single connection to the PSINet network. In addition, PSINet and Cisco Systems agreed to launch an extensive joint marketing initiative for the Internet voice marketplace in the U.S. and abroad by the end of this year.

In deploying Cisco technologies, PSINet said its backbone will be able to handle pure IP (Internet Protocol) routing and Frame Relay switching at SONET speeds. The enhancements, along with PSINet's internal network operations, will enable PSINet to integrate new SONET fiber optic capacity from multiple providers with PSINet's existing DS-3, OC-3 and OC-12 capacity.

"PSINet has aggressively extended its Internet presence worldwide and is now positioned as the only independent ISP with a continuous data network that circles the globe," said Larry Lang, Cisco's vice president of marketing for the service provider line of business.

"Joining in this market leadership role, Cisco is committed to providing our carrier customers with the right solution to help advance them to the new-world platform. Leveraging our broad array of products and solutions, PSINet continues to enhance network scalability, increase business and extend its complete line of services including the innovative PSIVoice solution for business.

"Although we have always embraced a multi-vendor model for network equipment, management, and growth, Cisco has done a great job in ensuring that their technologies meet all criteria tested in our certification laboratories," said Mark Fedor, vice president of engineering for PSINet Inc.

"Cisco's commitment to quality shows in their ability to work with our needs which often include innovative features and capabilities that relate to the way we have constructed our global network," Fedor added.