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Cable & Wireless, the global telecommunications group, today (9 May 2002) announced an agreement with VIA NET.WORKS (VIA) to maximise business opportunities for dial-up Internet connectivity services in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market.


The agreement extends the current relationship between Cable & Wireless and VIA to include SME customer referrals and business development activities and significantly enhances the amount of traffic VIA will send over the Cable & Wireless network.


In taking on a lead referral role, Cable & Wireless will pass on customer leads that may be better serviced by VIA in the SME market. As a leading provider of single-source managed Internet services for businesses, VIA has particularly strong capabilities in the UK SME market, offering professional consulting services backed up by 24x7 network management and technical support.


The agreement will also enable VIA to expand dial-up capacity to its own UK IP backbone to provide a reliable and resilient service for customers. In the current turbulent market conditions, Cable & Wireless' financial strength was an additional factor in VIA's decision to expand the scope of the existing contract. Choosing a financially stable service provider was vital in terms of being able to guarantee continued IP connectivity services for VIA's customers long term. Cable & Wireless was recently noted as the most financially stable operator in its class in the Communications Week International Telecoms Top 100 survey.


"Our customers rely on VIA to take away the headache of managing their Internet services," said Jeff Meulman, Managing Director, VIA NET.WORKS UK. "We have been using Cable & Wireless to supply Internet dial-up connectivity for a number of years and have been pleased with the reliability of their service. In making the decision to enhance the capacity on our network, Cable & Wireless' strengths will ensure that we can develop a closer, long-term relationship for the benefit of our customers."


"We look forward to working with VIA on a continued basis to meet the needs of their customers," said Andrew McGrath, President Service Providers, Cable & Wireless "Their desire to secure quality and expand the breadth, depth and value of their own proposition has led them to extend their partnership with a global market leader. The combination of VIA's expertise in the managed Internet services market, in particular with SMEs, and our own IP infrastructure capabilities will provide a compelling proposition."


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About Cable & Wireless


Cable & Wireless is a major global telecommunications business with revenue of over £8 billion (US$11 billion) in the year to 31 March 2001 and customers in 70 countries and consists of two core and complementary divisions: Cable & Wireless Regional and Cable & Wireless Global. Cable & Wireless Regional offers a full range of telecommunications services in 35 countries around the world. Cable & Wireless Global's focus for future growth is on IP (internet protocol) and data services and solutions for business customers. It has developed advanced IP networks and value-added services in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in support of this strategy. With its financial strength and the capability of its global IP infrastructure, Cable & Wireless holds a unique position in terms of global coverage and services to business customers.


For more information about Cable & Wireless, go to http://www.cw.com


About VIA NET.WORKS


VIA NET.WORKS, Inc. (NASDAQ and EASE: VNWI) is a single-source provider of managed Internet services for business. Serving businesses in Europe and the Americas, VIA is committed to improve each customer's business productivity and competitiveness. VIA local operations offer a comprehensive portfolio of flexible and reliable managed Internet services encompassing areas such as connectivity, hosting, security, messaging, and professional services. VIA is a facilities-based Internet services company, managing its own backbone network. This unique combination - the agility of a local, customer-focused company and the reliability of an international high-speed network - allows VIA to be highly responsive to specific customer needs and to deliver quality solutions. VIA is headquartered at 12100 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, Virginia, USA, 20190. More information about VIA can be obtained by visiting http://www.vianetworks.com or http://www.vianetworks.co.uk
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