Progress Telecom celebrates fifth anniversary


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 10, 2003 — Progress Telecom will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its founding during the fourth quarter of 2003.

For five years Progress Telecom has been a leading provider of wholesale telecommunications services throughout the Eastern United States. The anniversary celebration begins with a Platinum sponsorship of the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel) Fall Conference and Trade Expo now underway in Orlando, FL.

Formed to meet market demand in fast growing fiber-optic telecommunications, the company was founded as a subsidiary of Florida Progress Corporation-now Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), which was created following a merger with Carolina Power and Light in 2000.

A subsequent downturn in the telecommunications sector saw a number of U.S. competitors shut down or file for bankruptcy reorganization. But with nimble and skillful navigation through the tough competitive terrain-and an expanding portfolio of products-Progress Telecom has emerged a strong and profitable leading player.

“We have survived, thrived and grown for several reasons,” said Ron Mudry, president and CEO. “We have stayed focused on customer service, delivering fast, flexible, on-time service with 99.999% reliability; we have an exceptionally talented employee base, our number one asset; we’ve kept costs to a minimum; and we’ve capitalized on the opportunities presented by our industry niche.” Mudry is the company’s founding president, capping 15 years at GTE. In its first 18 months, Progress Telecom grew from one to 110 employees under Mudry’s leadership. Today the company has 160 employees, and it services more than 100 domestic and international customers.

Progress Telecom, known in the industry as a ‘carrier’s carrier,’ has an expansive east coast network with 8,230 route miles that include deep presence in fast growing metropolitan markets. Its infrastructure covers some 64% of the population in the Southeast. The company’s wholesale services, which extend from the New York metro area to South Florida, serve more than 60 cities, including many tier II and tier III markets, and provide several gateways to international cable landings. Progress Telecom’s wireless business, leveraging Progress Energy’s infrastructure, has collocated some 300 antenna attachments on tower structures in southeastern states. The wireless division provides a strong profit center.

Over its five years of operations, Progress Telecom’s customers have ranged from industry giants and regional carriers to small local providers in second and third-tier markets, as well as ASPs, ISPs and high-end enterprises. The product portfolio has steadily expanded from its SONET transport roots and now includes E-1 Transport, Gigabit Ethernet, Expanded Ethernet Services, Wavelength and NOC Services. Its Network Operations Center (NOC), located in St. Petersburg, the company’s headquarters city, monitors customers’ service throughout the East Coast. Hurricane-hardened and fully redundant, with a backup NOC in Raleigh, NC, it is operational around the clock.

“Progress Energy is proud of the management and employees of Progress Telecom,” said Don Davis, executive vice president, Rail and Telecom, of Raleigh-based Progress Energy, a Fortune 250 company. “In a tumultuous five-year period when telecommunications companies have both come and gone, Progress Telecom has achieved many difficult and important goals. From the shareholder perspective, that warrants a grateful salute and best wishes for a fall season of well-earned celebration. In many ways, Progress Telecom has exceeded expectations, given the external economic environment.”

About Progress Telecom

Founded in 1998, Progress Telecom provides broadband telecommunications services throughout the Eastern United States. Progress Telecom incorporates approximately 135,000 fiber miles and 8,230 route miles in its network including over 165 Points-of-Presence (POPs).

The fiber network serves as the backbone of OC-192 transport that allows customers enhanced data transport capabilities in the Eastern United States from New York to Miami, FL, in first, second and third-tier growth markets and access to Latin America through its International Gateways. The network’s utility-based infrastructure also offers fast local loop access through metro fiber rings that move broadband capacity closer to the customer with 10 gigabit dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) technology.

The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL; it has a sales presence in Miami and New York and an office in Raleigh, NC, which provides sales, engineering, IT and field personnel services. Progress Telecom is owned by Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), a Fortune 250 diversified energy company headquartered in Raleigh with more than 23,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $8 billion in annual revenues. For more information about Progress Telecom, visit the company’s website at http://www.progresstelecom.com


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