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OFS Specialty Photonics Division marks silver anniversary

13 May 2009

Avon, CT, 8 May 2009 – The Specialty Photonics Division of OFS, A Furukawa Company, in Avon, Connecticut, today announces the commencement of its 25th year in business.

"At this point in the business climate, where others started up in the boom times and still more have closed their doors since, we here at the Avon facility are both happy and humbled to be in the fortunate position of celebrating a Silver Anniversary. We continue to stay on the cutting edge of innovation, production methods, and customer-centered market and product development," said Willy Cote, General Manager of the Specialty Photonics Division.

In 1984, the facility opened on Ensign Drive in Avon in what had been an old movie theater, with one draw tower, and making a product called HCS(r) optical fiber. At that time the facility was owned by Ensign Bickford Optics Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ensign-Bickford Industries in neighboring Simsbury, Connecticut, which had developed the HCS optical fiber technology. Ensign-Bickford Optics Company was soon purchased by SpecTran Corp. of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and became SpecTran Specialty Optics Company (SSOC). During the telecommunications bubble in 1999, the production capacity of the SpecTran parent company drew the attention of Lucent Technologies, which was looking to expand. What Lucent also got in its purchase of SpecTran was SSOC's growing product line based on the unusually rugged and versatile HCS optical fiber. SSOC became Lucent's Specialty Fiber Group. The division continued to grow and soon after became a cornerstone of a major growth initiative into the telecommunications market by global giant, Furukawa Electric Company of Japan when Furukawa purchased the Optical Fiber Solutions Group, including the Specialty Fiber Group, from Lucent in 2001 and established the OFS Specialty Photonics Division in Avon, Connecticut.

Our multi-story draw towers are hidden among the trees in Avon Park South, and it is here that we design and manufacture the unique specialty fiber optic products which have kept our business alive and well through ups and downs of the industry and the economy, and which have kept our customers in the Telecommunications, the Medical, the Industrial and the Government/Aerospace/Defense markets satisfied and coming back. Our employees live in town or commute from all over the state and Massachusetts. We employ approximately 150 highly trained technicians, assembly workers, office personnel, engineers and scientists.

"We're very proud to have reached this important milestone and will be celebrating throughout this year with our employees old and new, who have helped make this a viable, stable business with plans for growth this year and beyond," said Michael R. Fortin, Vice President, Marketing & Sales.

About OFS

OFS is a world-leading designer, manufacturer, and provider of optical fiber, optical fiber cable, FTTX, optical connectivity, and specialty photonics products. Our manufacturing and research divisions work together to provide innovative products and solutions that traverse many different applications as they link people and machines worldwide. Between continents, between cities, around neighborhoods, and into homes and businesses of digital consumers we provide the right optical fiber, optical cable and components for efficient, cost-effective transmission. OFS' corporate lineage dates back to 1876 and included technology powerhouses such as AT&T (NYSE: T) and Lucent Technologies (now Alcatel-Lucent, NYSE: ALU). Today, OFS is owned by Furukawa Electric, a multi-billion dollar global leader in optical communications.

Headquartered in Norcross (near Atlanta) Georgia, U.S., OFS is a global provider with facilities in Avon, Connecticut; Carrollton, Georgia; Somerset, New Jersey; and Sturbridge, Massachusetts, as well as in Denmark, Germany and Russia. For more information, please visit www.ofsoptics.com.

About OFS, Specialty Photonics Division

OFS, Specialty Photonics Division, is the industry leader in optical fiber design or modification for highly specialized or customized applications. It supplies advanced optical fibers, including specialty multimode, specialty single-mode, rare-earth doped, polarization-maintaining and other nonstandard fibers. It also manufactures specialty cables and connectors, and other specialty products, such as high-power laser components. For more information about the Specialty Photonics Division, please visit www.SpecialtyPhotonics.com.

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