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Juniper Networks M20 Routers to Provide New Internet Infrastructure Services for Focal Communications Nationwide Network

Sunnyvale, CA - August 30, 2000 - Juniper Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), a leading provider of IP infrastructure systems, announced today that Focal Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: FCOM) will deploy more than 70 Juniper Networks M20 Internet backbone routers in its Focal Internet eXchanges (FIXs) across the country. The first deployment will take place in Chicago this September.

Focal is a national communications provider of data, voice, and collocation services to large corporations, Internet service providers, and value-added resellers. Focal plans to deploy a set of innovative solutions designed to meet the growing demand for high performance Internet services. These services, which will improve Internet performance and reliability, include managed, high-speed Internet access, collocation, and private peering.

"Focal selected Juniper Networks because they provide solutions purpose-built to meet the scalability, reliability, and capacity challenges of the Internet," said Michael Mael, president of Focal Data Communications, a business unit of Focal. "In particular, Juniper Networks leads the industry in advanced high-speed packet filtering. Their breakthrough packet filtering technology enables us to do something previously not possible, that is, to provide wire-rate services while still maintaining network security."

To offer these new, high-performance Internet services, Focal is implementing Focal Internet eXchange platforms in each of its 24 metropolitan markets across the US. At the heart of each FIX location are Juniper Networks M20 routers with breakthrough Internet Processor II ASIC technology. The M20 routers make Focal's vision of providing advanced network services a reality by enabling them to deliver managed, high-speed Internet access, private peering, and collocation services.

Specifically, Focal's new services will take advantage of the M20 router's Internet Processor II ASIC filtering capability to combat potential DOS attacks and sampling capability to gather information for traffic engineering.

"Focal's customers demand high-speed, reliable, and high-quality voice and data services," noted Carl Showalter, vice president of marketing at Juniper Networks. "By using Juniper Networks state-of-the-art packet filtering capability, Focal is able to differentiate themselves from their competition by delivering a unique set of collocation, private peering, and Internet access services to their customers."

About Focal

Focal Communications Corporation, www.focal.com, is a rapidly growing national communications provider. Headquartered in Chicago, Focal offers innovative data, voice and collocation services to large corporations, Internet service providers and value-added resellers across the United States. Focal provides its customers with an attractive alternative to the incumbent local exchange carriers. Focal currently services 19 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.

About Juniper Networks, Inc.

Juniper Networks, Inc. is a leading provider of purpose-built systems that meet the scalability, performance, density, and compatibility requirements of rapidly evolving, optically enabled IP networks. These systems provide new IP infrastructure solutions for the world's leading service providers. Juniper Networks service and manufacturing teams and IP engineers work closely with customers to build and support customer networks. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, please visit our Web site at https://www.juniper.net.

Juniper Networks is a registered trademark of Juniper Networks, Inc. M20 and Internet Processor II ASIC are trademarks of Juniper Networks Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, or registered service marks may be the property of their respective owners.

The foregoing discussion regarding Focal Communications Corporation contains forward-looking statements. Focal's future performance is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to deviate substantially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could impact future results include the successful expansion of Focal's operations into new geographic markets on a timely and cost-effective basis; the successful introduction and expansion of new data and voice service offerings on a timely and cost-effective basis; Focal's ability to design, install, implement, and market its Internet services infrastructure; the pace at which new competitors enter Focal's existing and planned markets; competitive responses of other carriers; the execution and renewal of interconnection agreements with incumbent local exchange carriers on terms satisfactory to Focal; Focal's ability to enter into and maintain agreements for transport facilities and services, including Internet transit services; acceptance of Focal's services by new and existing customers; Focal's ability to attract and retain talented employees; the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings regarding reciprocal compensation for Internet-related calls and the impact of changes in laws and regulations that govern reciprocal compensation; Focal's ability to raise sufficient capital on acceptable terms and on a timely basis; Focal's ability to obtain and maintain any required governmental authorizations, franchises or permits, all in a timely manner, at reasonable costs and on satisfactory terms and conditions; regulatory and judicial developments that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results indicated, expressed or implied, in such forward-looking statements; effective management of administrative, technical and operational issues presented by Focal's expansion plans and the ability to successfully provision DSL services. Investors are directed to examine Focal's SEC filings, which more fully describe the risks and uncertainties associated with Focal's business.