EPIK Communications Announces Merger with Progress Telecom, Expanding Fiber-Optic Network in Southeast U.S.

ORLANDO, Nov 3, 2003 – EPIK Communications announced today that it is merging its business with Progress Telecom to create a new wholesale telecommunications company that will be the second-largest fiber-optic network in the southeast United States.

The new company, which will retain the Progress Telecom name, will be 55 percent owned by Progress Telecom’s parent, Progress Energy, and 45 percent owned by EPIK’s parent, Odyssey Telecorp Inc. Executives of Odyssey will operate and manage the business going forward.

“The combination of EPIK and Progress Telecom creates a strong new player in the telecommunications market in the southeast United States,” said Sean Doherty, chairman and CEO of Odyssey. “We’re looking forward to partnering with Progress Energy to grow the combined business and to continue to deliver the highest quality services to our customers.”

The combined company will have nearly 425,000 miles of fiber-optic cable covering more than 8,500 route miles, second only to BellSouth among fiber-optic networks in the southeast United States. It will also have 200 wholesale customers, 31 mobile switching centers, nearly 200 points of presence (POPs), and will hold key lease rights to South Florida’s international cable landings. Additionally, the company has established a broad commercial relationship with Progress Energy to deploy wireless towers on land and rights-of-way controlled by the utility.