VoiceNet Cuts Costs, Readies For Growth, As WilTel's First NNI Customer

TULSA, Okla. (May 8, 1995)-- As the largest Internet access provider in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, VoiceNet Inc. has more than 9,000 customers "surfing the 'Net."

Thanks to WilTel's network-to-network interface (NNI) connection with Bell Atlantic, VoiceNet will soon have additional clients from throughout the region, including New Jersey, sailing through cyberspace.

For VoiceNet, NNI is an efficient, reliable and economic solution for continued growth in this rapidly evolving field. NNI enables interconnection between distinct frame relay networks, such as the connection between WilTel's WilPak frame relay and a LEC's (Local Exchange Carrier's) frame relay network, like Bell Atlantic's. "NNI allows us to expand into additional LATAs (Local Access and Transport Areas) in a very cost-effective manner," said Carmen DiCamillo, founder and president of the Ivyland, Pa., firm. "We anticipate that NNI will help us to maintain our current growth of 25 percent per month, while giving us the flexibility to continue offering our customers the quality service to which they've grown accustomed."

VoiceNet executives contacted numerous carriers, including WilTel, regarding the costs and logistics of connecting the company's network to other LATAs. Before offering any pricing or configuration information, WilTel Major Account Manager Sandra Delgatto and WilTel Systems Engineer Robert Wilson met with VoiceNet technical staff to pursue a solution for the network's expansion. "When we meet with customers, our objective is to find out exactly what they require to meet their goals," explained Delgatto. "Then we can provide them with a customized solution."

After exploring several options for broadening their network, VoiceNet officials determined that WilTel's NNI would best suit the company's plans for future growth. "The flexibility and, more importantly, the cost savings, really sold us on NNI," said DiCamillo. "I think WilTel's experience in the Internet access arena -- with customers like UUNet, PSI and NetCom -- provided us with a distinct advantage," commented Delgatto. As the company that introduced frame relay to the telecommunications market in 1990, WilTel has continued to set the standard for broadband services.

WilTel is the first interexchange carrier to offer NNI connections in 21 major U.S. cities. NNI users can access LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) frame relay to connect to the WilPak public frame relay network, rather than only accessing WilPak via dedicated local access. WilTel is responsible for connections within the WilPak frame relay cloud and the NNI between WilTel and the LEC. Customers must contact the LEC for connections within the LEC's frame relay cloud. The physical connections are composed of a WilPak NNI port, a non-channelized T1 private line and a LEC NNI port. The NNI protocol provides bi-directional signaling for PVC monitoring allowing both frame relay providers to determine the PVC status beyond their respective networks. WilTel plans to offer end-to-end connectivity by the mid-1995 giving customers a single contact for ordering, provisioning, maintenance and billing of NNI connections.

WilTel is a full-service telecommunications company that offers domestic and international data, voice and video products and services to carriers and large business customers. WilTel operates a nationwide digital fiber-optic network for its parent company, LDDS Communications Inc., one of the four largest U.S.-based long-distance carriers. The shares of LDDS Communications Inc. trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol LDDS.