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Atlanta Motor Speedway's Broadcast Goes High-tech with Sumitomo's FutureFLEX Air-Blown Fiber Cabling System.

Business Editors/High Tech & Sports Writers

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 2, 2002

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, a leader in fiber optic product manufacturing, announced today the successful deployment of its FutureFLEX(R) Air-blown Fiber Cabling System at NASCAR's MBNA America 500 on March 10 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia.

The speedway is one among a growing number of enterprises in the sports entertainment and broadcasting industry (including, ESPN, Manhattan Center Studios, Carter-Finley Stadium, and Road America) to adopt FutureFLEX as its preferred fiber network cabling infrastructure for facility operations and network broadcasting.

Atlanta Motor Speedway's FutureFLEX fiber optic cabling backbone, unlike a conventional cable infrastructure, accommodates the frequent changes, expansions, and customized fiber routing from sporting event to sporting event required by the various networks transmitting video, audio and data -- such as FOX, NBC, and local stations. Air-blown fiber(R) allows for quick and easy fiber installation and re-routing by blowing fiber bundles through a network of tubes at speeds of 100 to 150 feet per minute to anywhere in and around the track where fiber is needed.

Seeking an advanced fiber optic cabling system, the speedway chose FutureFLEX because of its significant advantages over a conventional fiber cable network. With air-blown fiber, the speedway eliminates the costs of laying dark, unused fiber and enjoys the flexibility of reconfiguring or pulling out the fiber at the conclusion of an event and reusing it in another venue. The ease of installation and reconfiguration significantly reduces the time, labor and cabling costs associated with rerouting a conventional network. Two people can install or blow one mile of air-blown cable in 45 minutes; compared with conventional fiber installation methods, which require 6 to 8 people from 2 to 3 days to pull a single mile of optic cable.

An additional benefit weighed by the speedway in its decision to adopt FutureFLEX includes the ability to reconfigure the fiber in a continuous point-to-point installation with no need to disrupt the facility as done when 'pulling' conventional fiber. By eliminating the need to 'pull' fiber, the point-to-point blowing installation reduces the potential for damaging the fiber and eliminates the need for splicing intermediate connections; thereby offering zero points of failure. Avoiding intermediate connections ensures better long-term reliability when routing the fiber to crucial locations, such as the TV compound, media center, track turns, network mobile studios, scoreboard, PA system, and the start and finish lines.

The air-blown fiber 'plug-n-play' backbone also offers the speedway a competitive advantage when servicing the needs of the network broadcasting and TV stations. The multiple tubes used in the FutureFLEX cabling system allow each station or network user the ability to dictate its own fiber configuration without disturbing other users. At the point of tube distribution, users can reduce errors by separating and clearly labeling different pathway functions at their own discretion, designating tube 1 of 18 as audio, tube 2 as video and so on.

Larry Oldag, chief installer for the speedway comments, "As the only bundled air-blown fiber system in North America, the choice to use FutureFLEX was clear. Based upon the success of the system at Road America, the ease of installation, flexibility, and the cost benefits it provides, FutureFLEX delivers advantages that conventional fiber simply cannot."

The successful deployment at the Atlanta Motor Speedway has led to recent FutureFLEX installation contracts with California's Sears Point Raceway, and North Carolina's Lowes Motor Speedway. Commenting upon the future of FutureFLEX, Steve Nelson, U.S. Sales Manager for Telecast Fiber Systems, the leading fiber optic broadcast equipment supplier states, "FutureFLEX promises to become the preferred method of 'fibering' broadcast facilities, sports venues, stadiums, and other campus environments."

About the FutureFLEX(R) Air-blown Fiber Cabling System:

FutureFLEX has become the preferred cabling method among some of the world's most recognized private networks including, the Pentagon, ESPN, McCarran International Airport, MGM Grand Hotel, National Institute of Health, USSA, and other companies and establishments throughout the manufacturing, nuclear power, government and military, airline/airport, educational, and sports entertainment/broadcasting sectors. The system utilizes tube cables and fiber bundles in 2-6-12-and 18 fiber arrangements for a maximum capacity of 342 fibers that facilitate quick and cost effective installations that provide a positive ROI for its users. For more information, please visit our website at www.futureflex.com.

About Sumitomo Electric Lightwave:

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, located in Research Triangle Park, NC, is the North American operation within the global network of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (SEI). Established in 1987, the company is dedicated to tailoring the fiber optic networks of major telecommunications companies through the manufacturing of optical fiber cable, ribbon-configured network solutions, interconnect assemblies, fusion splicers, FTTH products, and its FutureFLEX(R) Airblown Fiber Cabling System. First to introduce peelable ribbon fiber to the U.S., Sumitomo Electric Lightwave is the industry's leader in ribbon-configured solutions that increase the bandwidth opportunities of its customers.
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Date:Apr 2, 2002
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