News Release
April 26, 2000

NewSouth Communications Teams with DukeNet Communications for Fiber Optic Network Services

GREENVILLE, SC April 26, 2000 – NewSouth Communications Corp., a switch-based broadband Integrated Communications Provider (ICP), announced today that it has teamed with DukeNet Communications, the telecommunications unit of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), to expand its fiber optic reach throughout the South.

Under the agreement, DukeNet will serve as a primary fiber provider to NewSouth Communications. The company will utilize DukeNet’s 7,800-mile interconnected fiber optic cable network in the Southeast, which is centered in the Carolinas and has interconnecting networks extending from Washington, D.C. to Texas. The agreement allows for long-haul capacity to expedite NewSouth’s expansion and connection to customers.

"NewSouth Communications is proud to be working closely with the communications arm of Duke Energy, one of the finest energy companies in the country," commented Michael L. LaFrance, President & CEO of NewSouth Communications. "DukeNet is on the cutting edge of the energy industry’s efforts to expand its reach in the fiber optic communications marketplace.

"We are pleased NewSouth Communications has selected DukeNet as its primary carrier for expanding its market presence. NewSouth’s focus on technological advancement is impressive. We are delighted to play a significant role in their growth strategy and look forward to a long, productive relationship," said M.H. "Chip" Smith, President of DukeNet Communications.

This agreement with DukeNet enables NewSouth Communications to deploy its network rapidly across the South, and to offer a full complement of high-speed Internet access, Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL), data, voice, and enhanced services to business customers in the region.

"With our entry into over 100 new markets in the South in 2000, our agreement with DukeNet will allow us to increase our market presence significantly," added Neal L. Nodvin, EVP of Corporate Development. "DukeNet is a leader in the industry, and we are very excited to be doing businesses with them."

About NewSouth Communications:

NewSouth Communications is a privately held broadband ICP whose senior management team collectively possesses hundreds of years of experience in successful telecommunications-oriented businesses, including ACC Corp., now AT&T (NYSE: T), QWEST (NASDAQ: Q), and MCI WorldCom (NASDAQ: WCOM). The Company is actively expanding its network of Cisco New World packet-based switches (NASDAQ: CSCO), Lucent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: LU) AnyMediaTM 5ESS-2000 switches, and Lucent’s packet-based Softswitch across the South. In addition, NewSouth Communications is a designated Cisco Powered NetworkTM.

NewSouth Communications currently offers a comprehensive selection of products including high-speed Internet access, DSL, data, local exchange, long distance, and enhanced telecommunications services, all on one invoice, throughout the southern United States, including the BellSouth (NYSE: BLS), Sprint United (NYSE: FON), and GTE (NYSE: GTE) service regions. The Company offers service in Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana and selected services in eight adjoining states.

For more information, visit the Company’s web site at http://www.newsouth.com or contact Susanne Hite at hite@newsouth.com.

About Duke Net Communications:

DukeNet Communications, Inc. is a "carrier’s carrier," providing fiber optic and wireless digital network communications systems and services to national and regional wireless carriers, inter-exchange carriers, competing local exchange carriers, cable companies and Internet service providers. DukeNet is the telecommunications unit of Duke Energy Corporation, a diversified multi-national energy company that creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses -- generating revenues of nearly $22 billion in 1999. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Susanne Hite
Phone: 864-672-5097
24 Hour Phone: 704-594-0681
Email: hite@newsouth.com
Contact: Paul Mason
Phone: 704-373-4512
24 Hour Phone: 704-594-0681
Email: pemason@duke-energy.com