WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 4, 1999-- CAIS Internet, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAIS - news), a leading service provider of multi-point high speed Internet access solutions, announced today an agreement to acquire (by merger) Atcom, Inc., a leading provider of software solutions in multiple user Internet environments.

This merger would combine CAIS's OverVoice hardware technology with Atcom's IPORT server software and kiosk products to create a cost effective and robust solution to deliver high speed Internet access solutions to hotels, apartment communities and public areas. CAIS will issue approximately 2.51 million new shares to Atcom shareholders and holders of Atcom warrants. CAIS will also convert Atcom employee stock options into options to purchase a total of 0.87 million CAIS shares, a portion of which are vested. Upon completion of the merger, Atcom would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of CAIS.

With this transaction, CAIS will be able to significantly reduce its cost of delivering the OverVoice total high speed Internet access solution to its customers, and believes that it would be able to offer the most sophisticated and simple-to-use feature sets and applications to customers. The IPORT server functionality was developed by Atcom in conjunction with Microsoft Consulting Services.

The IPORT server will provide OverVoice-equipped buildings with Internet access connection functionality, payment processing including interface with hotel management systems, advertising and e-commerce enabling and variable data bit rate options. In addition to these basic applications, IPORT has new functions that are leading the industry to more complete ``office-outside-the-office'' features including IP-based secure tunneling for corporate intranet access, printing capability and booth and kiosk platforms for Internet access in public areas. The integration of OverVoice with IPORT will provide a consistent, simple interface for the end user.

``We believe that IPORT's feature set is far ahead of other competing server software that is available and that Atcom is a clear market leader in this area. Atcom has an excellent reputation in the hotel and apartment community industry, and brings strong support from Microsoft,'' said Ulysses G. Auger II, CEO, CAIS Internet. ``In addition to reducing our dependence on third parties for a vital part of our business, this merger reduces our cash costs in a typical apartment community or hotel building installation by over 10%.''

``CAIS is clearly the best partner for us in high speed end-user markets. Our entire management group is looking forward to being part of the CAIS team,'' said Steve Nye, President of Atcom, Inc. ``With our product lines combined, we represent a compelling end-to-end solution to customers.''

Atcom's IPORT, a client/server application, runs on the Microsoft BackOffice platform on the server side, and facilitates the end-user's access to the Internet on one end, while integrating with the hotel property management system or ISP billing platform on the other. An IPORT server located on-site, or remotely in a distributed location automatically configures a user's laptop to connect properly, eliminating the need for the user to manually alter IP addresses. The client application also features built-in support for virtual private networking, an emerging remote access technology that uses the Internet to provide a secure, low-cost connection to a private corporate network.

For the traveler not equipped with a laptop computer, ATCOM also provides superior software products and services for high-speed Internet and information delivery in public places worldwide. These include pay-per-use public Internet booths, kiosk Internet terminal management software, and custom software kiosk programs designed to meet specific customer needs.

The merger agreement is subject to certain conditions, including the approval of Atcom's shareholders.

About OverVoice by CAIS Internet - the total solution for high speed Internet access

Unlike other multi-point high Internet connectivity approaches, CAIS Internet is a single source for high speed Internet access services and a multi-point distribution platform. CAIS delivers the high speed bandwidth off its nationwide backbone to the hotel or building, and with OverVoice® by CAIS Internet patented technology, distributes the high speed Internet access up to 10 Mbps to multiple users. CAIS also has plans to rollout its 10 and 100 Mbps home networking solutions with its single point of contact solution.

OverVoice technology is a cost-effective and sensible solution for hotels and apartment communities wishing to makes properties high speed Internet-ready. OverVoice technology is simply installed on top of the property's existing telephone system to create an Ethernet local area network like that found in many businesses. OverVoice provides users an uninterrupted, dedicated high speed Internet connection that can be shared simultaneously among multiple users.


Based in San Diego in 1995, ATCOM is a leading provider of public high-speed Internet access software and systems for the 21st century. The company's mission is to increase the installed base, customer use, and public and industry awareness for public information terminals and public Internet ports (IPORT(TM)). ATCOM's software and systems are installed in airports, hotels, convention centers, and other public areas from New York to San Diego and in Canada. Customers include US West, GTE, TCG, Pacific Bell, Mail Boxes Etc. and Canada Payphone. With ATCOM's flagship product, the IPORT Internet Access system, the company has received honors including the 1997 and 1998 Microsoft Retail Application Developer ``RAD'' award and the UCSD Connect 1998 Most Innovative Product Award.

The latest version of the IPORT Internet Access System, IPORT 3.0, features high-speed plug and play Internet access that requires no reconfiguration as well as pay-per-use content through integrated and flexible billing options.

About CAIS Internet

CAIS Internet, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAIS - news) is a leading Internet service provider, delivering the latest in end-to-end high speed Internet access solutions for consumers and businesses. CAIS operates three different major business lines: high speed Internet access to multi-user environments with its patented OverVoice® solution (hotels and apartment communities); high speed Internet access using HyperDSL lines to commercial and residential customers; and dedicated Internet access to businesses and other Internet providers. All CAIS Internet services are delivered with expert technical and customer support.

CAIS Internet operates a nationwide, clear-channel DS3/OC3 and ATM Network. CAIS currently peers with public and private partners, and at national exchange points MAE East, MAE East ATM, MAE West, and AADS.

Information on CAIS is available by calling 888-260-CAIS, or by visiting the company's web site at

Editor's Note: OverVoice and CAIS are registered trademarks of

CAIS Internet.

This release contains statements relating to CAIS's future expectations and business strategies or other ``forward-looking'' information. Those statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the statements. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ from projections include, among others: changes in business conditions; changes in the Internet services industry and the general economy; our limited operating history; our ability to manage rapid growth; our ability to enter into joint ventures and other strategic relationships with companies on terms acceptable to us; and the impact of computer and related problems that may arise from the Year 2000 problem on our business.

CAIS Internet is headquartered in Washington, DC, and is reachable at 888.260.CAIS or on the Internet at

     CAIS Internet, Washington

     Minda Markle, 202/715-1325

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A: Hughenden Yard, Marlborough, Wilts,SN8 1LT, UK
T: +44 (0)1672 511 094
F: +44 (0)1672 511 078
E: [email protected]

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