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IXC and Touch America Exchange Fiber on Key Routes; Enables Both Companies to Expand Networks and Complete Redundant Fiber Rings for Increased Reliability.

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 29, 1999--

Touch America, a subsidiary of The Montana Power Company (NYSE:MTP), and IXC Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IIXC) today announced a fiber exchange agreement that will allow both companies to significantly extend their networks while providing greater reliability.

According to terms of the 25-year indefeasible right of use (IRU), Touch America will acquire 580 miles of IXC's dark fiber and conduit currently being constructed from Denver to Salt Lake City. Under the reciprocal arrangement, IXC will acquire 1,020 miles of dark fiber and conduit from Touch America currently under construction between Denver and Dallas. The companies have agreed to an exchange of cash for differences in the routes.

The addition of the Denver-Dallas segment helps IXC close a redundant fiber ring connecting the two cities and provides IXC customers in the Mid and Southwest regions of the U.S. with increased capacity and reliability. IXC expects to have approximately 16,000 fiber miles completed by the end of 1999.

"The addition of the segment from Denver to Dallas will enable us to further strengthen the existing SONET ring infrastructure along that high-density route," said Mike Vent, president of IXC's network services. "Partnering with Touch America to expand our network penetration allows us to make high quality, advanced communications available to more current and future customers."

Mike Meldahl, president of Touch America said the IXC exchange allows Touch America to extend its SONET ring infrastructure with a redundant ring that will encompass Salt Lake City, Denver, Billings, and Seattle. "In particular, this agreement allows us to move closer to our goal of having an 18,000-mile continental fiber-optic network by the end of 2000," he said.

Touch America is a wholly owned telecommunications subsidiary of The Montana Power Company, providing long-distance services, private line services, Internet and business telephone equipment throughout the Upper Midwest and western United States since 1983. The company's digital fiber optic network employs the most advanced telecommunications technology available today. Touch America offers a full line of long-distance services, as well as dedicated voice, data, video services and frame solutions. Touch America's equipment services include design, installation and maintenance of PBX and key systems. The company also offers construction management oversight of the installation of fiber optic systems. Touch America and The Montana Power Company are based in Butte, Montana. Information about Touch America can be found at www.in-tch.com or www.mtpower.com.

IXC's network-based delivery solutions are designed to address the speed and capacity requirements of the global communications market. IXC offerings include private line, fast packet (ATM and frame relay), Internet and long-distance switched and dedicated services. IXC Communications Inc. is at the forefront of the industry's new class of emerging domestic and international carriers. IXC is a publicly traded company listed on Nasdaq under the symbol IIXC. For more information, visit IXC's Web site at www.ixc-comm.com.

Certain of the above statements set forth management's expectations or predictions of the future based on current facts and analyses. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated in such statements due to unavoidable construction delays, increases in expenses and other factors. Additional information on factors that may affect the business and financial results of the companies can be found in the companies' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 29, 1999
Words:553
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