MCI WorldCom is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States, serving local, long distance and Internet customers domestically and internationally. The Company provides telecommunications services to business, government, telecommunications companies and consumer customers, through its networks of fiber optic cables, digital microwave, and fixed and transportable satellite
earth stations. The Company also possesses a global reach with established operations in over 65 countries encompassing the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions.
MCI WorldCom, like many other facilities-based CLECs, has a desire to capitalize on the industry's fastest growing segments, namely data/Internet, international and U.S. local phone services. The Company owns and operates its own network in cities across the U.S. and around the world. MCI WorldCom serves millions of U.S. business and consumer customers with an integrated package, including long distance, local (available from more than 100 U.S. markets) data, Internet and other communications services.
Through both UUNET and MCI WorldCom Advanced Networks, the Company has developed a reliable and widely deployed Internet network, as well as networking and hosting solutions. The UUNET backbone supports speeds ranging from 28.8 Kbps to OC-12 and provides local access from more than 1,000 locations worldwide. MCI WorldCom Advanced Networks offers virtual private network (VPN), security, customer care, web hosting and e-commerce services.
Globally, MCI WorldCom has established itself as a local, facilities-based competitor in 15 countries outside the U.S., with high capacity connectivity to more than 40,000 buildings world-wide.
In November 1998, MCI WorldCom announced the nationwide deployment of DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) based Internet access services with planned availability in more than 400 Points of Presence (PoPs) by year end and 600 POPs by March 1999. The services, available through the company's UUNET network, provide higher-bandwidth Internet access to online service providers and smaller businesses. America Online and EarthLink began trials of the new service in 1998. The broad national footprint of the new services includes major markets, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, San Diego, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and many others. The roster of PoPs that make up the services includes a combination of facilities from MCI WorldCom and
third party LECs and CLECs. In the future, additional PoPs from MCI WorldCom local facilities will be deployed, bringing the total number to more than 1,000 by the end of 1999.
• The DSL service for corporate customers, called UULinksm DSL, is an integrated, end-to-end Internet access solution. In addition to supplying a DSL access circuit, the service includes Internet connectivity, as well as domain name registration, e-mail accounts and news readers. The business DSL service is a symmetrical service available in bandwidths from 128 Kbps through 768 Kbps. Following the initial offering, MCI WorldCom will introduce a comprehensive suite of DSL services for businesses of all sizes as part of its On-net product suite. This offering will be available in the first quarter of 1999.
• The DSL consumer service is asymmetrical with per-user bandwidth that ranges from 64 Kbps to 384 Kbps upstream and from 384 Kbps to 768 Kbps downstream, depending on such factors as the customer's region and distance from the central office. America Online and EarthLink will trial the service as a way to test high-speed Internet connectivity for their consumers who connect at higher speeds.
On September 28, 1998, MCI WorldCom announced its new integrated services network, called On-Net. The service allows business customers to combine voice and data traffic from local U.S. and international locations onto one seamless, end-to-end network. MCI WorldCom On-Net customers can utilize a single access method for all of their voice, data and Internet services. The service will be available in all MCI WorldCom facilities-based markets.
In another new product announcement, MCI WorldCom unveiled Frame Relay Internet Gateway in October, 1998. The service allows companies to link frame relay networks with the public Internet to deploy seamless networking applications, including VPN-based intranets and extranets. Using security-enhanced network-to-network interfaces (NNIs), Frame Relay Internet Gateway connects a customer's frame relay network to the Internet, providing an alternative to additional access facilities or ports for dedicated Internet connections. With Frame Relay Internet Gateway, companies can move data between frame relay networks and the Internet through permanent virtual circuits (PVC). These virtual circuits direct data to geographically dispersed, managed security gateways, physically located within the MCI WorldCom network.
At the TRA tradeshow in May 1998, MCI WorldCom announced that it would enter the wholesale market and begin to offer nationwide local telephone service for resale by carriers and resellers. Initially, local switched and private line service will be offered in selected U.S. cities where MCI WorldCom has local facilities. Service will be available in all domestic locations where MCI WorldCom owns local facilities during 1999.
In a move to shift more customers to on-line billing, MCI WorldCom announced an agreement with CheckFree on February 24, 1999, that will allow MCI WorldCom to expand its residential online portfolio in the world of e-commerce. MCI WorldCom will give its residential customers the option to receive and pay their bills using the Internet. This option is an addition to the Company's online credit card and direct debit payment options already available.
On the global front, MCI WorldCom turned up its pan-European fiber-optic network in July 1998. The network connects existing MCI WorldCom intracity networks in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt. The pan-European network is in turn connected to the Company's existing U.S. local and long distance networks via the Gemini transatlantic cable system. The connection of these networks links over 27,000 office buildings in the United States and 4,000 buildings in Europe.