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CENTERPOINT EXTENDS AT&T RELATIONSHIP WITH $7.8 MILLION CONTRACT

HOUSTON, October 14, 2004 - AT&T has won a $7.8 million integrated networking contract from CenterPoint Energy, one of the largest combined electricity and natural gas delivery companies in the nation. The three-year agreement renews a longstanding relationship between the two companies.

CenterPoint Energy’s diverse business units provide electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution and sales, interstate pipelines and gathering operations and more than 14,000 megawatts of power generation in Texas.

CenterPoint Energy will rely on AT&T Toll-Free Service to help the company elevate service for its 5 million customers. As part of a trend-setting policy in Arkansas designed to make customer service a priority, CenterPoint Energy has pledged to answer at least 80 percent of incoming calls within 30 seconds. CenterPoint Energy’s “80/30 rule” applies across all its business lines.

“Our customers demand a high level of reliability and service from us and those demands are amplified when they reach out to us on the phone,” said Mike Cline, CenterPoint director of information technology. “The communications network AT&T provides plays an important role in helping us to conduct business with integrity, accountability, initiative and respect.”

In addition to toll-free services, the contract covers calling card, frame relay, private line and Internet access services.

CenterPoint Energy enjoys a single point of contact for all voice and data services, streamlined billing and discounts across the full array of services through AT&T OneNet® Service. Additionally, through the secure AT&T BusinessDirect® portal, CenterPoint Energy gains around-the-clock online access to tools that provide real-time reports on network performance and direct access to AT&T’s ordering, billing and payment, status, inventory and trouble management systems.

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About CenterPoint Energy
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., (NYSE:CNP), headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and sales, interstate pipeline and gathering operations, and more than 14,000 megawatts of power generation in Texas, of which approximately 2,500 megawatts are currently in mothball status. The company serves nearly five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total over $21 billion. With more than 11,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 years.  For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

About AT&T
For more than 125 years, AT&T (NYSE "T", www.att.com <http://www.att.com>) has been known for unparalleled quality and reliability in communications.  Backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs, the company is a global leader in local, long distance, Internet and transaction-based voice and data services.

Author: Dan Keeney
Phone: (832) 467-2904
Fax: (832) 467-2909
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Category: technology | Sub Category: networking