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NEON Acquires Columbia Transcom

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9/15/2003

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. -- NEON(R) Communications, Inc., a leading provider of advanced optical networking solutions and services in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic markets, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Columbia Transmission Communications Corporation (Columbia Transcom). Through this acquisition, NEON has acquired a unique, robust, and physically diverse fiber optic network running from New York City to Washington, D.C., that complements its existing network in the mid-Atlantic. The new fiber route runs along utility rights-of-way that are west of the Route 95 corridor commonly used by other carriers. This new route provides NEON customers with unique alternatives for diversity, redundancy, and protection in this heavily traveled corridor.

NEON acquired all of the issued and outstanding stock of Columbia Transcom from Columbia Energy Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NiSource, Inc., for cash and the assumption of certain liabilities. Following the acquisition, the new company will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of NEON and will be renamed NEON Transcom, Inc.

Steve Courter, NEON's Chairman and CEO, said: "Columbia Transcom built a high quality asset that provides unique physical diversity from New York City south. The network is an excellent platform for NEON to expand its capillarity in the mid-Atlantic to mirror the extensive network we currently have north of New York. It also significantly enhances NEON's network in the Washington, D.C., metro area which is one of the most robust telecom markets in the world." Courter went on to say: "NEON is well positioned to satisfy pent-up demand for lit services in the mid-Atlantic and to continue our mission of providing customers with unique network solutions to Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 locations."

Communication Technology Advisors, LLC (CTA), the Company's telecom advisor, had initiated talks with Columbia Transcom on behalf of NEON several months ago with the hopes of bringing together two significant fiber footprints in the Northeast U.S. corridor. CTA and the NEON team are very excited about the expansion opportunities in the mid-Atlantic region to complement NEON's New York and New England network.

NEON Communications Inc.

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