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WinStar and GTE sign interconnect agreement; Agreement with GTE Florida covers entire Tampa Bay market;.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 27, 1996--

WinStar now has interconnect agreements

covering 11 of its major markets

WinStar Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ-WCII) and GTE (NYSE-GTE) today announced that they have signed an interconnect agreement covering the entire Tampa Bay market, where GTE Florida is the incumbent local exchange carrier.

The agreement establishes the ground rules under which WinStar and GTE will interconnect their networks. The two telephone companies had previously been in arbitration, but were able to successfully negotiate an agreement which puts aside two open issues for resolution at a later date, allowing WinStar to proceed immediately with its plans to provide competitive local telecommunications services in Tampa Bay.

This is WinStar's seventh interconnect agreement with an incumbent local exchange company. WinStar is negotiating additional agreements with a number of local exchange companies, and now has interconnect agreements covering 11 of the 41 major market areas in which it plans to roll out its competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) business over the next three years. WinStar already had an interconnect agreement with BellSouth covering the other major markets in the state of Florida. GTE has signed 20 interconnect agreements in seven states, including four in Florida for the Tampa Bay area.

"We are excited that business customers in the Tampa Bay area will be able to choose an integrated package of local, long distance, and enhanced communications and information services from WinStar," said Dave Schmieg, President and Chief Operating Officer of WinStar Telecommunications. "We look forward to providing these new customers with the same excellent customer service, pricing, simplified billing, and value-added telecommunications services which have been received so well in our initial launch in New York and other cities."

"We are pleased to have completed an agreement with WinStar which provides choice for our customers in the Tampa Bay area," said Don McLeod, GTE Vice President of Regulatory and Governmental Affairs - East. "GTE is committed to implementing a competitive environment in Florida, under the framework of Florida's telecommunications legislation and the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996."

GTE uses state-of-the-art technology to provide customers with integrated voice, video, and data communications solutions. GTE, which is the largest U.S.-based local telephone company, serves over 2.2 million access lines in the Tampa Bay region.

WinStar's CLEC business is based on its Wireless Fiber(SM) service, which is a broadband local communications service provided using WinStar's licenses in the 38 GHz band. Wireless Fiber service is the functional equivalent of fiber in terms of reliability, data transmission quality, and bandwidth provided to the end user.

WinStar currently holds 38 GHz licenses in 41 of the top 45 U.S. markets, covering 110 million people. Upon completion of pending acquisitions, each of which is subject to FCC approval, WinStar will have license coverage in 46 of the top 50 markets in the country, including the top 31, and more than 160 major market areas in total, covering approximately 170 million people, and approximately 575 million channel pops (population coverage multiplied by the number of channels).

WinStar Communications, Inc. is a national local communications company, serving business customers, long distance carriers, fiber-based competitive access providers, mobile communications companies, local telephone companies, and other customers with broadband local communications needs. The company provides its Wireless Fiber(SM) services using its licenses in the 38 GHz spectrum. The company also provides long distance services and various information services and entertainment content. -0- Wireless Fiber is a service mark of WinStar Communications, Inc.

CONTACT: Financial Community

Michelle Davis

Manager of Investor Relations

WinStar Communications, Inc.

(212) 687-7577 Ext. 153

or

Press

Amy Swartz

GCI Group

(212) 546-1646

aswartz@gcigroup.com

or

At GTE Florida

Jim Marzano

External Communications Manager

(813) 483-2542
COPYRIGHT 1996 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 27, 1996
Words:617
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