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THE SOUTHERN COMPANY SIGNS NEW LETTER OF INTENT WITH FIRST PACIFIC NETWORKS

 ATLANTA, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Southern Company (NYSE: SO) has entered into a letter of intent with First Pacific Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: FPNX) (FPN) of Sunnyvale, Calif., to purchase 3,500 units of FPN's PowerView product, with an option to purchase 5,000 more, for testing in the utility's service territory.
 The letter of intent replaces a prior agreement between the companies.
 Under the letter of intent, The Southern Company also will purchase a technology license from FPN, paying an initial license fee installment of $5 million, and will assist in further development of PowerView by conducting market trials in its service territory.
 The Southern Company will receive warrants (exercisable within 48 months) to acquire an equity interest of up to 9.95 percent in FPN.
 In addition, The Southern Company will receive an initial 25 percent share of revenue from worldwide sales and license fees for PowerView.
 "This letter of intent represents an important next step forward in our relationship with First Pacific Networks, which began earlier this year when The Southern Company launched an extensive examination of FPN's technology and its applications in the electricity utility industry," Southern Company Executive Vice President Paul DeNicola said. "We now will move quickly to contact the appropriate agencies and finalize formal contracts."
 PowerView is an electronic system that gives customers greater control over their electricity use and provides a constant communications link between utility companies and customers.
 The PowerView device, connected to the utility through fiber- optic/coaxial cable networks, will enable customers to automatically control their energy use and shift electricity consumption away from peak-demand periods, when power is more expensive. Customers with PowerView can program appliances such as water heaters to use less energy during peak periods, reducing home utility bills and helping electric companies slow the growth of peak demands.
 The 3,500 PowerView devices will be installed for use at customer sites in The Southern Company's service territory during 1994 and 1995.
 The Southern Company is the parent firm of five electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. The Southern Company's common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.
 -0- 9/20/93
 /CONTACT: David Mould or Karen O'Leary of The Southern Company, 404-455-1077/
 (SO FPNX)


CO: The Southern Company; First Pacific Networks, Inc. ST: Georgia, California IN: UTI SU:

RA-CF -- AT003 -- 3488 09/20/93 08:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 20, 1993
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