GTS Teams With Compaq and Microsoft To Launch Europe’s Largest Streaming Media Service

LONDON; MUNICH, Germany; and REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 10, 2000 — Global TeleSystems Inc. (GTS) (NYSE: GTS; Easdaq: GTSG; Frankfurt: GTS), the leading European e*Business and borderless broadband services company, today launched its new GTS Streaming Media Service with the support of Compaq Computer Corp. and Microsoft Corp. GTS brings together the industry-leading scalability and reliability of the Microsoft® Windows Media™ Services on Windows® 2000 Server, with the expansive network of GTS Ebone, Europe’s largest optical Internet backbone network at 10 gigabits per second (Gbps), and Compaq’s industry-leading server technology to create Europe’s largest streaming media service. By leveraging the strengths of these two leading technology companies, GTS will create a turnkey digital media service for European media and entertainment businesses, and corporations that have the capability to span the 14 on-Net countries and 38 European cities currently reached by the GTS network.

“As Europe’s leading Internet backbone and broadband network operator with 25 percent or more of Europe’s total Internet traffic and users on Ebone, GTS provides Internet content providers, broadcasters and other media companies with unrivalled audience and user reach, while delivering carrier-class performance and reliability,”
said Leo McCloskey, GTS senior vice president, Marketing.
“To create a service of this size demands superior scalability and reliability. After evaluating other technologies, the clear choice to meet our needs was Compaq and the Microsoft Windows Media Services running on Windows 2000,”
he added.

Built on the largest broadband optical fiber network in Europe, covering some 17,500 route kilometres (10,850 miles), GTS’s new managed streaming media service will offer European customers high-quality, live streamed and downloaded Windows Media content across Europe – transforming the digital media experience for businesses and consumers. More importantly, this new service by GTS is designed to accelerate the development and distribution of streamed content on the Web in Europe by helping to address three key issues facing the European media and entertainment industry:

  • Removing the burden of managing the IT hardware and network infrastructure required to deliver streamed audio and video. Together with Compaq, GTS offers a complete, optimized set of server technologies combined with dedicated, in-house technical expertise to customize and manage a specific set of hardware and software for every customer’s needs.

  • Removing the difficulties of juggling multiple partners to deliver Web content. GTS offers encoding, asset management, digital rights management, scheduling, publishing management and IT consulting services from a single provider.

  • Ensuring the highest-quality digital media experience for customers while offering unmatched scalability and security to ensure viable e-commerce. GTS chose to build its custom solution and network delivery system based on the industry-leading scalability of Microsoft’s Windows Media Technologies. Offering the industry’s only true end-to-end secure digital media platform, Windows Media offers the highest-quality audio and video across any bandwidth, and integrates second-generation digital rights management technology with over 200 million secure Windows Media Players distributed worldwide. GTS customers can be assured their creative content is protected without sacrificing quality.

“By building a digital media network and service infrastructure of this size, GTS is really providing the steppingstone for broadband digital media to thrive in Europe,”
said Dave Fester, general manager, Marketing, Windows Digital Media Division, Microsoft Corp.
“We are excited that Windows Media could play a crucial pioneering role in this unique effort.”

Eric Wirz, director, Entertainment and Media, Compaq EMEA BV, said,
“The evolution of broadband multimedia in the entertainment industry represents an opportunity that Compaq is well placed to address. The infrastructure required to support GTS’s offering makes tremendous demands in terms of accessibility, interoperability, speed and scalability. Compaq plays in each of these areas through our state-of-the-art IT platform with pre-installed Windows Media Technologies. High availability and scalability is guaranteed by simply adding streaming media engines.”

The service is available now in London, with the first pilot customers already using the service. Additional sites will be incorporated in the coming weeks, with caching technology being added to enable GTS to scale the service up to 1 million streams.

About GTS

Global TeleSystems Inc. ( ), is the leading provider of e*Business and borderless broadband services across Europe, serving businesses and carriers with a range of broadband, hosting, Internet/IP and voice services. As an industry leader in Europe, the company has the largest cross-border fiber-optic network; the largest Tier-1 IP backbone (GTS Ebone); the most widely deployed pan-European e*Business sales and service staff; and the largest pan-European customer base. GTS’s first and most extensive trans-European broadband fiber network includes on-Net points of presence in 38 European cities (50 cities planned) and stretches across 17,500 route kilometers (25,000 route kilometers planned) with six city enterprise networks (CENs) (16 CENs planned) providing intra-city bandwidth. GTS is also developing an advanced trans-Atlantic dual-cable system in a joint venture with FLAG Telecom. The company has its European operating headquarters in London; other corporate offices in Washington, D.C.; Brussels and Cork, Ireland; and sales and service operations in 20 countries.

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated rights management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK) for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

About Compaq

Compaq Computer Corp., a Fortune Global 100 company, is the largest supplier of computing systems in the world. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures and markets hardware, software, solutions and services, including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions and communications products, commercial desktop and portable products, and consumer PCs.

Compaq products and services are sold in more than 200 countries directly to businesses, through a network of authorized Compaq marketing partners, and directly to businesses and

consumers through Compaq’s e-commerce Web site at . Compaq markets its products and services primarily to customers from the business, home, government and education sectors. Customer support and information about Compaq and its products and services are available at .

This press release may include forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainty. Although the company believes its expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, no assurance can be given that such projections will be fulfilled. Any such forward-looking statement must be considered along with knowledge that actual events or results may vary materially from such predictions due to, among other things, political, economic or legal changes in the markets in which GTS does business, competitive developments, or risks inherent in the company’s business plan. Readers are referred to the documents filed by GTS with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the most recent reports filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and registration statements filed pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933, which identify important risk factors.

Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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