US LEC Passes 2,000th Customer Milestone in North Carolina

00:00:00 - 16 August 2004

Carrier excels in home state, serving more than 2,000 business-class customers

August 16, 2004 - Charlotte, NC - As one of the first competitive telecom carriers focused on businesses in North Carolina, US LEC Corp. (Nasdaq: CLEC), a super-regional telecommunications carrier providing integrated voice, data and Internet services to businesses and enterprise organizations throughout the eastern United States, announces that its customer base in North Carolina has surpassed the 2,000th customer mark, adding nearly 300 new mid-to-large sized business customers in the first half of 2004.

Established in 1996, US LEC initially provided services in North Carolina through its digital switching centers in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh. The company has grown to now serve more than 100 markets throughout the eastern United States via 27 digital voice and data switching centers. Although US LEC employs over 1,000 telecommunications professionals throughout its 15-state footprint, nearly half of those are located in North Carolina. US LEC customers in the state include AAA Carolinas, Allen Tate Realtors, Carlyle & Co., Cross Company, Prudential Carolinas Realty and Shaw University.

"US LEC's extensive coverage throughout North Carolina and the eastern United States is just one component of being a true communications partner for businesses," said Chuck Flaherty, regional vice president for US LEC. "Customers want a reliable carrier that will provide a full suite of products and services supported with an unwavering commitment to superior customer care. Business customers are choosing, and staying, with US LEC because they know we deliver."

Overall, US LEC has grown its customer base by more than 56 percent since July 2003 and is on course to top the 20,000th customer mark in the third quarter of 2004. The company also recently reported second quarter earnings figures of $91.6 million in revenue and nearly $13 million in EBITDA. US LEC maintains an industry-leading customer retention rate and continues to successfully target business customers in vertical industries that include the automotive, construction, education, entertainment, financial, government, hospitality, manufacturing, medical, professional/legal, real estate and transportation sectors.

About US LEC
Based in Charlotte, NC, US LEC is a leading telecommunications carrier providing integrated voice, data and Internet services to medium and large businesses and enterprise organizations throughout 15 Eastern states and the District of Columbia. US LEC services include local and long distance calling services, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, advanced data services such as Frame Relay, Multi-Link Frame Relay and ATM, dedicated and dial-up Internet services, managed data solutions, data center services and Web hosting. US LEC also provides selected voice services in 25 additional states and selected data services nationwide. For more information about US LEC, visit www.uslec.com.

Except for the historical information contained herein, this report contains forward-looking statements, subject to uncertainties and risks, including the demand for US LEC's services, the ability of the Company to introduce additional products, the ability of the Company to successfully attract and retain personnel, competition in existing and potential additional markets, uncertainties regarding its dealings with ILECs and other telecommunications carriers and facilities providers, regulatory uncertainties, the possibility of adverse decisions related to reciprocal compensation and access charges owing to the Company, as well as the Company's ability to begin operations in additional markets. These and other applicable risks are summarized in the "Forward-Looking Statements and Risk Factors" section and elsewhere in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2002, and in subsequent reports, which are on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

US LEC is a registered service mark of US LEC Corp. US LEC and Design (R) is a registered service mark and trademark of US LEC Corp.


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