McLeodUSA selects CIENA MultiWave CoreDirector for deployment on its One Functional Network

McLeodUSA Incorporated, a local telecommunications provider, has selected the MultiWave CoreDirector from CIENA as the intelligent optical core switch for its One Functional Network (OFN) national, local, voice and data network.

McLeodUSA Incorporated (Nasdaq: MCLD), a local telecommunications provider, has selected the MultiWave CoreDirector from CIENA (Nasdaq: CIEN) as the intelligent optical core switch for its One Functional Network (OFN) national, local, voice and data network.

McLeodUSA is continuing development of its next-generation national data network, a part of OFN, and maintaining its steadfast commitment to customer utility. Customers have a set of fundamental needs-for rapid provisioning, great customer service and for competitive prices-that will be met by the approach offered by McLeodUSA. These advantages ultimately will benefit businesses in a wide range of cities, both where McLeodUSA already serves as a provider of local services and on a national basis. The network is designed to serve customer needs today, and to efficiently evolve to take advantage of new customer requirements and new, all-optical technology in the future.

The CIENA product set will allow McLeodUSA to create an automated, self-aware network that eliminates the need for ring-based topologies and reduces layers of complexity associated with static, legacy networking systems. In addition, the network's mesh design will reduce capital and operating costs, resulting in savings and competitive advantages. This network design will enable provisioning across the network in minutes instead of months and will deliver highly customized levels of service.

The flexibility of CoreDirector will allow McLeodUSA to develop web-based tools that will enable its customers to make real-time choices concerning their bandwidth and circuit requirements; the type of connectivity that meets their needs; levels of service quality and choice of billing options. The use of mesh networking throughout the national backbone allows an on-demand customer care system.

The agreement calls for delivery of CoreDirector switches during the first quarter of this year and anticipates more than 50 switches to be installed in major U.S. markets and at key network junctions by the end of 2001. The contract also encompasses the MultiWave CoreStream intelligent optical transport system and LightWorks ON-Center network management software from CIENA. Total estimated value of the purchase agreement is more than $200 million.

The McLeodUSA OFN network will stretch across more than 30,000 inter- and intra-city route miles of fiber-optic capacity when completed, and initially will terminate traffic via physical points of presence in more than 50 cities across the continental United States. Selected routes will be in service in 2001. Potential customers of the data network include companies that use long-haul network capacity as a core component of their business.

About McLeodUSA:

McLeodUSA provides selected telecommunications services to customers nationwide. Integrated communications services including local services are currently available in many Midwest, Southwest, Northwest and Rocky Mountain states; long distance, advanced data and Internet services are available in all 50 states. McLeodUSA is a facilities-based telecommunications provider capable of transmitting integrated next-generation data, Internet, video and voice services. For more information, visit www.mcleodusa.com.

About CIENA:

CIENA Corporation's optical networking systems form the core for the new era of networks and services worldwide. CIENA's LightWorks architecture enables next-generation optical services and improves the fundamental economics of service-provider networks by simplifying the network and reducing the cost to operate it. For more information, visit www.ciena.com.

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