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Cogent launches high-speed network in four cities

The company launches its high-speed corporate network in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., offering businesses superfast Internet access for $1,000 per month.

Cogent Communications launched its high-speed corporate network in four major cities Monday, offering businesses superfast Internet access for $1,000 per month.

Cogent activated metropolitan fiber-optic networks in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and actuated its nationwide backbone network linking those cities together.

The company, which is installing high-speed Internet equipment in many large office buildings and other multitenant units, offers Net access at speeds of 100 megabits per second (mbps) for a flat-rate fee of $1,000. Cogent's 100-mbps service is about 65 times faster than a T1 line, at roughly the same price. T1 connections, which can cost as much as $1,500 in some markets, offer speeds of about 1.5 mbps.

Cogent is one of several companies offering ultrafast Internet access for big businesses by targeting and pre-wiring major office parks or connecting directly to customers via gigabit Ethernet technology. The corporate Net access and data networking markets are expected to explode over the next several years, and dozens of companies are scrambling to offer faster service at cheaper prices than incumbent phone companies and competitive upstarts.

For example, Yipes Communications and Telseon both offer Net access at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (gbps) using Ethernet, while companies such as Allied Riser Communications, Urban Media, Broadband Office Cypress Communications and Brix Communications are feverishly wiring office buildings for high-speed Net access.

Others, such as Teligent and WinStar Communications, are using fixed wireless technology to offer high-speed Net access and voice services, while Expedient offers 100-mbps Internet access using wireless and Ethernet technologies for a flat rate as low as $100 per month and up to $500 or more, depending on the number of users.

Privately held Washington, D.C.-based Cogent plans to introduce its service in nine more cities by the first quarter of 2001.

The American Gas Association in Washington and the Chicago-based law firm of Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery are among Cogent's first customers.