ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Dec. 13, 2000 (BUSINESS WIRE)—Progress Telecom, a regional wholesale carrier of telecommunication services and Emergia Holding N.V., a broadband services provider, announced the signing of an agreement which will make Progress Telecom a preferred provider for telecommunications services in the United States.

Emergia is constructing a high capacity, fiber optic network in Latin America that will cover approximately 25,000 kilometers of fiber optic route servicing major cities in Latin America, USA and Puerto Rico.

Progress Telecom was selected for this relationship because of its ability to deliver reliable broadband network services in shorter than industry standard schedules. The agreement makes Progress Telecom a preferred provider for telecom services from Emergia in the United States. This also allows both parties to further capitalize on the explosive growth of telecommunications and Internet demand in Latin America.

Emergia’s initial capacity will range from 40 gigabits per second expandable to 1.92 terabits per second in order to position the network for long-term development and growth. The Emergia network will also incorporate DWDM technology and a self-healing fiber optic ring.

“This agreement positions Progress Telecom to be a leader in U.S. distribution of international telecommunications traffic to and from Latin America”, said Ron Mudry President and CEO of Progress Telecom. “The agreement also expands our network reach allowing us to better serve our customers that need connectivity to Latin America”.

The Progress Telecom fiber network provides service for customers in first, second and third tier markets throughout the Southeast United States and through strategic alliances reaches nationwide. The Emergia network will span throughout Latin America, the United States and Puerto Rico, connecting major cities such as Sao Paulo, Brazil to San Juan, Puerto Rico in the east and from Valparaiso, Chile to Guatemala on the west. Emergia will create a self-healing ring linking Latin America to the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

“This agreement will assure reliable connectivity for our customers at the principal points of presence south of Florida and from there to multiple destinations in The United States,” said Jose Manuel Munoz, COO of Emergia. “This alliance is extremely beneficial for everyone involved.”

About Emergia
Emergia Holding N.V., is a subsidiary of Telefonica S.A., created to provide broadband communication services through an advanced, undersea, high-capacity, fiber optic network in Latin America.

Anticipating the demand for broadband access in Latin America in the coming years, Emergia is developing an approximately 25,000 kilometer network that will offer connection at the speed of light with a self-healing ring. Emergia will link Latin America to the United States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific in a seamless, city to city connection with open and unrestricted accessibility. Emergia is headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay, with offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and the USA. Visit Emergia at www.e-mergia.com.

Telefonica, S.A., Emergia’s parent company is the leading provider of telecom services to the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world. With 1999 operating revenues of EUR13.6bn Telefonica is Spain’s largest multinational and one of the world’s leading telecommunications companies.

About Progress Telecom
Founded in 1998, Progress Telecom is a carrier’s carrier providing wholesale telecommunications services throughout the Eastern United States. Progress Telecom incorporates approximately 106,000 fiber miles in its network including over 100 Points-of-Presence (POPS).

The fiber network serves as the backbone of OC-192 transport that allows customers enhanced data transport capabilities in the Southeastern United States’ first, second and third tier growth markets and access to Latin America through its International Gateways.

Progress Telecom’s parent company, Progress Energy Inc. (NYSE:PGN), is a Fortune 500 diversified holding company headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. The company’s portfolio includes two major electric utility companies, CP&L and Florida Power, as well as NCNG, SRS and Progress Telecom. These companies serve 2.8 million customers across the Southeast, providing electricity, natural gas and broadband capacity. It is one of the nation’s 10 largest utilities. For more information about Progress Telecom on the Internet go to https://progresstelecom.com/.