3/23/1998

AEP Communications And ValleyNet
Connect Fiber Optic Networks

COLUMBUS, Ohio and WAYNESBORO, VA., March 23, 1998 -- AEP Communications, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and ValleyNet, a fiber optic network provider, jointly announced today they have signed an agreement to connect their interstate fiber optic networks.

AEP Communications serves Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio; ValleyNet provides service to Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee, with a connection into the CFN network serving North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Together, the networks will have 4,500 miles of fiber optic cable. The connected networks will lease DS-1, DS-3 and higher-level SONET communications services in the 10-state area.

Additionally, the AEP Communications marketing center in Columbus, Ohio, and the ValleyNet marketing center in Waynesboro, Va., will handle service and maintenance requests, and billing questions.

"The connection was completed in early March," said Gene Sandridge, ValleyNet general manager. "It allows AEP Communications, ValleyNet and CFN to lease capacity services between locations in the region. With this agreement, we´re growing geographically to meet expanded customer requirements."

"This agreement is good for potential customers in that it expands the reach of our network to provide new communications service options," said Peter Thomas, AEP Communications vice president. "Also, the agreement furthers AEP´s intent to market a broad spectrum of energy and communications services."

Created in 1989, ValleyNet is a partnership comprised of affiliates of CFW Communications Company (NASDAQ: CFWC), R&B Communications Company, Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (VAOTC: SHET), Sprint Mid Atlantic Operations and Sprint North Central Operations (both NYSE: FON). ValleyNet provides a single point of contact for marketing, operations and maintenance of broadband fiber optic communications services.

AEP Communications, created in 1996, markets fiber optic communications services and energy information services. AEP Communications also offers services to wireless communications license holders for the establishment and maintenance of their networks.

AEP, a global energy company has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom and China. Wholly owned AEP subsidiaries provide power engineering, consulting, and management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.
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Information about ValleyNet can be found at http://www.valleynet.com.

For More Information, Contact:
Deb Strohmaier
Senior Media Representative
American Electric Power
614/223-1656
or
Gene Sandridge
General Manager
ValleyNet
540/946-3525