Touch America expands IP-based network service

Feb. 26, 2001
Feb. 26, 2001--Touch America announced its high-speed nationwide Internet Protocol (IP) product deployment is underway, coinciding with the company's fiber-optic network expansion to 26,000 route miles in 2001.

Touch America, the national broadband transport subsidiary of The Montana Power Company (NYSE: MTP) announced its high-speed nationwide Internet Protocol (IP) product deployment is underway, coinciding with the company's fiber-optic network expansion to 26,000 route miles in 2001.

Touch America's IP product allows customers cost-competitive, high-speed access to its current 18,000-route-mile, fiber-optic network for transporting data, voice and video simultaneously, while managing the converged flow of information in the most apt and efficient manner possible. These essential components make up the IP network:

* Quality fiber-optic cable;

* End-to-end connectivity and direct Internet access;

* Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) that maximizes the number of information-carrying light wave channels within a single fiber-optic strand;

* Routers with multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) that can process packet addressed information faster than earlier technologies, enabling high priority information, such a voice and video, to have high-speed, uninterrupted delivery through the network; and

* Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) switches that have the capability to create a path through the network and to reserve capacity for high priority information.

Touch America combines these elements with its innovative 3-Dimensional designed IP carrier-level network architecture to maximize the efficient use of bandwidth in the simultaneous transport of voice, video and data. From origination to destination information will take the most direct route, but in any case will make no more than three hops, with a hop being the distance between any two network points of presence (POP) where Touch America can terminate network traffic.

The result is high-speed, low-latency (time delay) transport of information at competitive prices, and Touch America will rapidly light IP routes along its fiber-optic network as it completes an additional 8,000-route-mileEbuild this year.

With its IP infrastructure, Touch America can link wholesale and business customers through managed applications, streaming media and complex hosting at up to 10AGigabits per second.

The Touch America IP Network Architecture Features:

* Scaleable, meshed routing network architecture;

* Reliable, redundant core and uplink hardware on a Cisco Powered Network;

* Three core-hop low latency, high performance network design; and Engineered for New-Generation Services.

About Touch America:

Touch America is a national broadband fiber-optic and regional wireless telecommunications company, providing customized voice, data, and video transport, as well as Internet services, to businesses and consumers. For more information, visit www.tamerica.com.

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