Cogent Expands College Reach with Merit Network Win

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 21, 2002 - Cogent Communications, a Tier One, optical ISP, today announced that Merit Network, Inc., a provider of Internet connectivity to all of Michigan's publicly funded universities, has selected Cogent's GigE (1000Mbps) connection to deliver ultra-high speed Internet access to its students, faculty, and staff.

Among the challenges that Merit has faced is Internet traffic which has doubled every year for the past four years while the student body size has remained relatively stable. As each new generation of bandwidth-hungry, Net-savvy students enter Michigan Universities, Cogent will continue to provide a low-cost, high-bandwidth solution to meet the demands placed on MichNet, Merit's statewide network.

"When we first selected Cogent, we tested their network and it performed as advertised," said Scott Gerstenberger, Director of MichNet, Merit Network. "We are pleased with the quality of Cogent's service and we expect that Cogent will be carrying a large portion of our data traffic this fall when students return to school."

In addition to the universities it serves, Merit also provides Internet service to many of Michigan's community colleges, K-12 schools, libraries, state agencies, and cultural and research organizations. Through these organizations, Merit serves more than one million people in Michigan every day.

"College and university customers have quickly evolved into a key market for Cogent," said Dave Schaeffer, CEO, Cogent Communications. "Because we offer the efficiency of a data-only, national network that enables us to charge the lowest price per megabit in the country, it's a unique combination that college IT departments operating on a tight budget cannot afford to overlook."

The 13 Michigan universities that will have access to Cogent's network through its relationship with Merit are: Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University.

Cogent's 18,500 mile long haul backbone and metropolitan network services 33 cities and runs independently of traditional carrier networks. Built specifically for IP data, Cogent avoids the huge costs associated with a SONET-protected voice infrastructure, enabling it to offer colleges and commercial end-user customers the lowest price per non-oversubscribed megabit in the country.

About Merit Network, Inc.

Merit develops and promotes advanced Internet services for research and education. Merit's regional network in Michigan connects universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, libraries, state agencies, and cultural organizations. Through these organizations, Merit serves more than one million people in Michigan every day.

Merit's engineering staff has earned international acclaim for its work. From 1987 to 1995, Merit developed and managed the NSFNET, the national network that was the precursor to today's commercial Internet. Merit currently provides Internet2 access for organizations in Michigan and also develops tools and applications for online learning, including the Michigan Teacher Network ( and Teach for Tomorrow (

Among Merit's contributions to Michigan's economic development are three spinoff companies: Advanced Network & Services; NextHop Technologies, Inc.; and Interlink Networks, Inc. Merit was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI. For more information, visit

About Cogent Communications

Cogent Communications (AMEX: COI) is a Tier 1, facilities based, all-optical ISP focused on delivering ultra-high speed Internet access and transport services to businesses in the multi-tenant marketplace and to service providers located in major metropolitan areas across the United States. Cogent's signature service offered to commercial end-users of 100 Mbps for $1,000 per month, offers 100 times the observed bandwidth of a T-1 connection at approximately two-thirds of the cost. The Cogent solution makes ultra-high speed Internet access an affordable reality for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large enterprises and service providers. Cogent's facilities-based, all-optical end-to-end IP network enables non-oversubscribed 100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps connectivity for radically low, unmetered pricing levels.

Cogent's network consists of a dedicated nationwide multiple OC-192 fiber backbone, multiple intra-city OC-48 fiber rings, and optically-interfaced high-speed routers. Cogent has been recognized as the first IP Optical Cisco Powered Network (CPN). Cogent acquired the U.S. operations of PSINet and is now servicing 33 metropolitan markets with services ranging from T1 and T3, to 100 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps Internet connectivity and transport services. Cogent Communications is headquartered at 1015 31st Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20007. For more information, visit Cogent Communications can be reached at (202) 295-4200 or via email at Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser..

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Information in this release may involve expectations, beliefs, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements included in this release are based upon information available to Cogent Communications Group, Inc. as of the date of the release, and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statement. The statements in this release are not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ materially from our current expectations. Numerous factors could cause or contribute to such differences. Some of the factors and risks associated with our business are discussed in Cogent's registration statement on Form S-4 as amended by a Form S-4/A (Amendment No. 8) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on January 8, 2002, and in our other reports filed from time to time with the SEC.