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ionex telecommunications Completes $345 Million Financing Plan

TEXAS --October 30, 2000-- ionex telecommunications, one of the fastest growing providers of broadband communications services over a next generation digital network, announced that it has closed a $150 million equity investment which complements a $195 million credit facility provided earlier by Lucent Technologies.

This $150 million round of equity financing was led by AEA Investors Inc., and VS&A Communications Partners III, L.P., the private equity affiliate of New York media merchant bank Veronis Suhler, and includes Texas Growth Fund, Raymond James Capital, BNY Capital Partners, L.P., and Weiss, Peck & Greer. In addition, Gilbert Global Equity Partners, L.P., a founding investor of ionex, participated in this round. In the last 11 months, since the company was founded, ionex has raised over $425 million.

"We are pleased that such a distinguished group of investors have committed to fully fund the ionex business plan that establishes 300 "connection" sites as well as the supporting network and back office infrastructure needed to bring next generation voice and data communications services to small and medium sized business," said Mark Baker, chairman and CEO of ionex.

"This investment provides us with capital to accelerate our growth and expand into 36 key city markets by the end of 2001. It certainly positions us financially as a leader in an industry that is just beginning to consolidate," Baker adds.

ionex currently provides customers in Dallas, TX with a complete bundle of broadband communications services that includes local and long distance voice, enhanced services, online billing and high-speed data. The ionex VoDSL network allows one existing phone line to be configured to provide multiple voice lines -- each carrying simultaneous voice calls. In addition, that same phone line can provide high-speed Internet access for a number of computer users.

The ionex IP-based, packet-switched network, based on hardware and software developed by both ionex and Lucent Technologies, uses digital subscriber line (DSL) technology to simultaneously provide high-speed data, video and voice services over the existing copper wire lines that have been installed and small businesses are currently using for dial-up Internet access, fax and voice calls. Since the ionex network interfaces with existing facilities-based access technologies and all telephone standards customers enjoy world-wide calling and a seamless transition to ionex that does not require them to add new telephone or LAN equipment.

"Our bundled voice and data services, coupled with our consultative sales approach and our single bill philosophy, will allow us to quickly deliver the products and services that small-and medium-sized customers want and need in order to grow their business and control their telecommunications expenses," says Rick Weller, COO of ionex.

About ionex
Dallas-based ionex telecommunications, an Integrated Communications Provider, (ICP) serves more than 60,000 small-to-medium sized business customers through a next generation digital network in a 14-state footprint and is one of the fastest growing providers of digital broadband communications services in the states that it serves.

ionex is developing a growing portfolio of value-added Internet Protocol based products and services dubbed "CustomConnect," which will include basic and enhanced voice services, high speed internet access, website development tools, an ionex web browser, e-mail, business-oriented Internet content and offers, online bill presentment and payment, premise-based data security tools, e-commerce applications, web hosting, improved Internet throughput rates, virtual PBX applications, "instant-on" line additions, enhanced custom calling features, virtual private networks, and secure internet transactions.

Business centers include: Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Ft. Worth, Houston, McAllen, San Angelo, San Antonio, Texarkana, Tyler, Texas; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri; Overland Park, Salina, Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; Omaha, Nebraska; Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Des Moines, Iowa; Bloomington and Eagan, Minnesota; Rapid City and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Ionex also serves customers in North Dakota, Montana, Arkansas and Louisiana. Major service centers are located in Sioux Falls, SD; Wichita, KS; Longview and Dallas, TX.

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