Focal Communications Praises Federal Communications Commission Decision To Implement New Reciprocal Compensation Plan

Focal Reconfirms 2001 Guidance



Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Focal Communications Corporation

    CHICAGO, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Focal Communications Corporation
 (Nasdaq: FCOM), a leading national broadband communications provider, commends
 an important decision by Chairman Powell and the Federal Communications
 Commission (FCC) to move forward with a new nationwide reciprocal compensation
 plan for all local traffic including Internet traffic.  Reciprocal
 compensation or inter-carrier compensation refers to the compensation
 exchanged between carriers for terminating local traffic on one another's
 networks.
     "The FCC's decision announced today is a significant win for competitive
 carriers across the country.  It legitimizes reciprocal compensation and
 recognizes the importance of competition in a deregulated industry," commented
 Robert Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Focal.  "Focal has
 been working with the FCC for several years on this and applauds their vote of
 confidence for competition in the local marketplace.  Finally, we can move
 past this issue and continue to focus on providing communications-intensive
 users with superior voice and data services across the country."
     Taylor continued, "The FCC action brings a new level of certainty to
 reciprocal compensation.  This decision has been anticipated and has already
 been factored into our financial guidance.  Accordingly, we are maintaining
 our previously stated financial targets for 2001."
     Existing agreements with BellSouth and Verizon Communications, Inc. will
 not be affected by the FCC's action today.  These two agreements establish
 inter-carrier compensation rates for traffic exchanged between the two
 companies' networks throughout Focal's Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Southeast
 markets.  In addition, these agreements provide for the most advanced form of
 interconnection and details how carriers will provision and provide service
 quality levels.
 
     About Focal
     Focal Communications Corporation ( www.focal.com ) is a rapidly growing
 national broadband communications provider. Headquartered in Chicago, Focal
 offers innovative voice, data and Internet infrastructure services to large
 corporations, Internet service, content and application service providers, and
 value-added resellers across the United States.  Focal currently serves 21
 major metropolitan markets and has announced plans to deploy services in a
 total of 24 markets, encompassing 56 metropolitan statistical areas
 nationwide. Focal's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under
 the symbol FCOM.
     Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical,
 including statements as to plans, intentions and future performance are
 forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are subject to
 numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
 materially from the future results indicated, expressed or implied, in such
 forward-looking statements.  Investors are directed to examine Focal's SEC
 filings, which more fully describe the risks and uncertainties associated with
 Focal's business.
 
 

SOURCE Focal Communications Corporation
    CHICAGO, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Focal Communications Corporation
 (Nasdaq: FCOM), a leading national broadband communications provider, commends
 an important decision by Chairman Powell and the Federal Communications
 Commission (FCC) to move forward with a new nationwide reciprocal compensation
 plan for all local traffic including Internet traffic.  Reciprocal
 compensation or inter-carrier compensation refers to the compensation
 exchanged between carriers for terminating local traffic on one another's
 networks.
     "The FCC's decision announced today is a significant win for competitive
 carriers across the country.  It legitimizes reciprocal compensation and
 recognizes the importance of competition in a deregulated industry," commented
 Robert Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Focal.  "Focal has
 been working with the FCC for several years on this and applauds their vote of
 confidence for competition in the local marketplace.  Finally, we can move
 past this issue and continue to focus on providing communications-intensive
 users with superior voice and data services across the country."
     Taylor continued, "The FCC action brings a new level of certainty to
 reciprocal compensation.  This decision has been anticipated and has already
 been factored into our financial guidance.  Accordingly, we are maintaining
 our previously stated financial targets for 2001."
     Existing agreements with BellSouth and Verizon Communications, Inc. will
 not be affected by the FCC's action today.  These two agreements establish
 inter-carrier compensation rates for traffic exchanged between the two
 companies' networks throughout Focal's Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Southeast
 markets.  In addition, these agreements provide for the most advanced form of
 interconnection and details how carriers will provision and provide service
 quality levels.
 
     About Focal
     Focal Communications Corporation ( www.focal.com ) is a rapidly growing
 national broadband communications provider. Headquartered in Chicago, Focal
 offers innovative voice, data and Internet infrastructure services to large
 corporations, Internet service, content and application service providers, and
 value-added resellers across the United States.  Focal currently serves 21
 major metropolitan markets and has announced plans to deploy services in a
 total of 24 markets, encompassing 56 metropolitan statistical areas
 nationwide. Focal's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under
 the symbol FCOM.
     Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical,
 including statements as to plans, intentions and future performance are
 forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are subject to
 numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
 materially from the future results indicated, expressed or implied, in such
 forward-looking statements.  Investors are directed to examine Focal's SEC
 filings, which more fully describe the risks and uncertainties associated with
 Focal's business.
 
 SOURCE  Focal Communications Corporation