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                               BIRCH TELECOM, INC.

                             1998 STOCK OPTION PLAN

                            ADOPTED FEBRUARY 9, 1998



1.       PURPOSES.

         (A) The purpose of the Plan is to provide a means by which selected
Employees of the Company, and its Affiliates, may be given an opportunity to
purchase stock of the Company.

         (B) The Company, by means of the Plan, seeks to retain the services of
persons who are now Employees of the Company or its Affiliates, to secure and
retain the services of new Employees, and to provide incentives for such persons
to exert maximum efforts for the success of the Company and its Affiliates.

         (C) The Company intends that the Options issued under the Plan shall,
in the discretion of the Board or any Committee to which responsibility for
administration of the Plan has been delegated pursuant to subsection 3(c), be
either Incentive Stock Options or Nonstatutory Stock Options. All Options shall
be separately designated Incentive Stock Options or Nonstatutory Stock Options
at the time of grant, and in such form as issued pursuant to Section 6, and a
separate certificate or certificates will be issued for shares purchased on
exercise of each type of Option.

2.       DEFINITIONS.

         (A) "AFFILIATE" means any parent corporation or subsidiary corporation,
whether now or hereafter existing, as those terms are defined in Sections 424(e)
and (f) respectively, of the Code.

         (B) "BOARD" means the Board of Directors of the Company.

         (C) "CODE" means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

         (D) "COMMITTEE" means a Committee appointed by the Board in accordance
with subsection 3(c) of the Plan.

         (E) "COMPANY" means Birch Telecom, Inc., a Delaware corporation.

         (F) "CONTINUOUS STATUS AS AN EMPLOYEE" means that the service of an
individual to the Company or an Affiliate as an Employee is not interrupted or
terminated. The Board or the chief executive officer of the Company may
determine, in that party's sole discretion, whether Continuous Status as an
Employee shall be considered interrupted in the case of: (i) any leave of
absence approved by the Board or the chief executive officer of the Company,
including sick leave, military leave, or any other personal leave; or (ii)
transfers between the Company, Affiliates or their successors.


                                       1.
<PAGE>   2


         (G) "COVERED EMPLOYEE" means the chief executive officer and the four
(4) other highest compensated officers of the Company for whom total
compensation is required to be reported to stockholders under the Exchange Act,
as determined for purposes of Section 162(m) of the Code.

         (H) "DIRECTOR" means a member of the Board.

         (I) "EMPLOYEE" means any person, including Officers and Directors,
employed by the Company or any Affiliate of the Company. Neither service as a
Director nor payment of a director's fee by the Company shall be sufficient to
constitute "employment" by the Company.

         (J) "EXCHANGE ACT" means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as
amended.

         (K) "FAIR MARKET VALUE" means, as of any date, the value of the common
stock of the Company determined as follows:

             (1) If the common stock is listed on any established stock exchange
or traded on the Nasdaq National Market or The Nasdaq SmallCap Market, the Fair
Market Value of a share of common stock shall be the closing sales price for
such stock (or the closing bid, if no sales were reported) as quoted on such
exchange or market (or the exchange or market with the greatest volume of
trading in the Company's common stock) on the last market trading day prior to
the day of determination, as reported in The Wall Street Journal or such other
source as the Board deems reliable.

             (2) In the absence of such markets for the common stock, the Fair
Market Value shall be determined in good faith by the Board.

         (L) "INCENTIVE STOCK OPTION" means an Option intended to qualify as an
incentive stock option within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code and the
regulations promulgated thereunder.

         (M) "LISTING DATE" means the first date upon which any security of the
Company is listed (or approved for listing) upon notice of issuance on any
securities exchange, or designated (or approved for designation) upon notice of
issuance as a national market security on an interdealer quotation system.

         (N) "NON-EMPLOYEE DIRECTOR" means a Director who either (i) is not a
current Employee or Officer of the Company or its parent or subsidiary, does not
receive compensation (directly or indirectly) from the Company or its parent or
subsidiary for services rendered as a consultant or in any capacity other than
as a Director (except for an amount as to which disclosure would not be required
under Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K promulgated pursuant to the Securities Act
("Regulation S-K")), does not possess an interest in any other transaction as to
which disclosure would be required under Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K, and is
not engaged in a business relationship as to which disclosure would be required
under Item 404(b) of Regulation S-K; or (ii) is otherwise considered a
"non-employee director" for purposes of Rule 16b-3.

         (O) "NONSTATUTORY STOCK OPTION" means an Option not intended to qualify
as an Incentive Stock Option.



                                       2.
<PAGE>   3


         (P) "OFFICER" means a person who is an officer of the Company within
the meaning of Section 16 of the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations
promulgated thereunder.

         (Q) "OPTION" means a stock option granted pursuant to the Plan.

         (R) "OPTION AGREEMENT" means a written agreement between the Company
and an Optionee evidencing the terms and conditions of an individual Option
grant. Each Option Agreement shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the
Plan.

         (S) "OPTIONEE" means a person to whom an Option is granted pursuant to
the Plan or, if applicable, such other person who holds an outstanding Option.

         (T) "OUTSIDE DIRECTOR" means a Director who either (i) is not a current
employee of the Company or an "affiliated corporation" (within the meaning of
the Treasury regulations promulgated under Section 162(m) of the Code), is not a
former employee of the Company or an "affiliated corporation" receiving
compensation for prior services (other than benefits under a tax qualified
pension plan), was not an officer of the Company or an "affiliated corporation"
at any time, and is not currently receiving direct or indirect remuneration from
the Company or an "affiliated corporation" for services in any capacity other
than as a Director, or (ii) is otherwise considered an "outside director" for
purposes of Section 162(m) of the Code.

         (U) "PLAN" means this Birch Telecom, Inc. 1998 Stock Option Plan.

         (V) "RULE 16B-3" means Rule 16b-3 of the Exchange Act or any successor
to Rule 16b-3 as in effect with respect to the Company at the time discretion is
being exercised regarding the Plan.

         (W) "SECURITIES ACT" means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

3.       ADMINISTRATION.

         (A) The Plan shall be administered by the Board unless and until the
Board delegates administration to a Committee, as provided in subsection 3(c).

         (B) The Board shall have the power, subject to, and within the
limitations of, the express provisions of the Plan:

             (1) To determine from time to time which of the persons eligible
under the Plan shall be granted Options; when and how each Option shall be
granted; whether an Option will be an Incentive Stock Option or a Nonstatutory
Stock Option; the provisions of each Option granted (which need not be
identical), including the time or times such Option may be exercised in whole or
in part; and the number of shares for which an Option shall be granted to each
such person.

             (2) To construe and interpret the Plan and Options granted under 
it, and to establish, amend and revoke rules and regulations for its
administration. The Board, in the



                                       3.

<PAGE>   4

exercise of this power, may correct any defect, omission or inconsistency in the
Plan or in any Option Agreement, in a manner and to the extent it shall deem
necessary or expedient to make the Plan fully effective.

             (3) To amend the Plan or an Option as provided in Section 11.

             (4) Generally, to exercise such powers and to perform such acts as
the Board deems necessary or expedient to promote the best interests of the
Company.

         (C) The Board may delegate administration of the Plan to a committee of
the Board composed of two (2) or more members (the "Committee"), all of the
members of which Committee may be, in the discretion of the Board, Non-Employee
Directors and/or Outside Directors. If administration is delegated to a
Committee, the Committee shall have, in connection with the administration of
the Plan, the powers theretofore possessed by the Board, including the power to
delegate to a subcommittee of two (2) or more Outside Directors any of the
administrative powers the Committee is authorized to exercise (and references in
this Plan to the Board shall thereafter be to the Committee or such a
subcommittee), subject, however, to such resolutions, not inconsistent with the
provisions of the Plan, as may be adopted from time to time by the Board. The
Board may abolish the Committee at any time and revest in the Board the
administration of the Plan. Additionally, prior to the Listing Date, and
notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, the Board may
delegate administration of the Plan to a committee of one or more members of the
Board and the term "Committee" shall apply to any person or persons to whom such
authority has been delegated. Notwithstanding anything in this Section 3 to the
contrary, the Board or the Committee may delegate to a committee of one or more
members of the Board the authority to grant Options to eligible persons who (1)
are not then subject to Section 16 of the Exchange Act and/or (2) are either (i)
not then Covered Employees and are not expected to be Covered Employees at the
time of recognition of income resulting from such Option, or (ii) not persons
with respect to whom the Company wishes to comply with Section 162(m) of the
Code.

4.       SHARES SUBJECT TO THE PLAN.

         (A) Subject to the provisions of Section 10 relating to adjustments
upon changes in stock, the stock that may be sold pursuant to Options shall not
exceed in the aggregate Six Million One Hundred Ninety-Five Thousand Eight
Hundred Forty-Five (6,195,845) shares of the Company's common stock. If any
Option shall for any reason expire or otherwise terminate, in whole or in part,
without having been exercised in full, the stock not purchased under such Option
shall revert to and again become available for issuance under the Plan.

         (B) The stock subject to the Plan may be unissued shares or reacquired
shares, bought on the market or otherwise.

5.       ELIGIBILITY.

         (A) Options may be granted only to Employees.

         (B) No person shall be eligible for the grant of an Incentive Stock
Option if, at the



                                       4.
<PAGE>   5

time of grant, such person owns (or is deemed to own pursuant to Section 424(d)
of the Code) stock possessing more than ten percent (10%) of the total combined
voting power of all classes of stock of the Company or of any of its Affiliates
unless the exercise price of such Option is at least one hundred ten percent
(110%) of the Fair Market Value of such stock at the date of grant and the
Option is not exercisable after the expiration of five (5) years from the date
of grant.

         (C) Subject to the provisions of Section 10 relating to adjustments
upon changes in stock, no person shall be eligible to be granted Options
covering more than 1,250,000 shares of the Company's common stock in any
calendar year. This subsection 5(c) shall not apply prior to the Listing Date
and, following the Listing Date, shall not apply until (i) the earliest of: (A)
the first material modification of the Plan (including any increase to the
number of shares reserved for issuance under the Plan in accordance with Section
4); (B) the issuance of all of the shares of common stock reserved for issuance
under the Plan; (C) the expiration of the Plan; or (D) the first meeting of
stockholders at which directors are to be elected that occurs after the close of
the third calendar year following the calendar year in which occurred the first
registration of an equity security under Section 12 of the Exchange Act; or (ii)
such other date required by Section 162(m) of the Code and the rules and
regulations promulgated thereunder.

6.       OPTION PROVISIONS.

         Each Option shall be in such form and shall contain such terms and
conditions as the Board shall deem appropriate. The provisions of separate
Options need not be identical, but each Option shall include (through
incorporation of provisions hereof by reference in the Option or otherwise) the
substance of each of the following provisions:

         (A) TERM. No Option shall be exercisable after the expiration of ten
(10) years from the date it was granted.

         (B) PRICE. The exercise price of each Incentive Stock Option shall be
not less than one hundred percent (100%) of the Fair Market Value of the stock
subject to the Option on the date the Option is granted; the exercise price of
each Nonstatutory Stock Option shall be not less than fifty percent (50%) of the
Fair Market Value of the stock subject to the Option on the date the Option is
granted. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an Option (whether an Incentive Stock
Option or a Nonstatutory Stock Option) may be granted with an exercise price
lower than that set forth in the preceding sentence if such Option is granted
pursuant to an assumption or substitution for another option in a manner
satisfying the provisions of Section 424(a) of the Code.

         (C) CONSIDERATION. The purchase price of stock acquired pursuant to an
Option shall be paid, to the extent permitted by applicable statutes and
regulations, either (i) in cash at the time the Option is exercised, or (ii) at
the discretion of the Board or the Committee, at the time of the grant of the
Option, (A) by delivery to the Company of other common stock of the Company, (B)
according to a deferred payment arrangement, except that payment of the common
stock's "par value" (as defined in the Delaware General Corporation Law) shall
not be made by deferred payment, or other arrangement (which may include,
without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the use of other common stock
of the Company) with the person to whom the Option is granted or to whom the
Option is transferred pursuant to subsection 6(d), or (C) in any other



                                       5.
<PAGE>   6

form of legal consideration that may be acceptable to the Board. In the case of
any deferred payment arrangement, interest shall be compounded at least annually
and shall be charged at the minimum rate of interest necessary to avoid the
treatment as interest, under any applicable provisions of the Code, of any
amounts other than amounts stated to be interest under the deferred payment
arrangement.

         (D) TRANSFERABILITY. An Incentive Stock Option shall not be
transferable except by will or by the laws of descent and distribution, and
shall be exercisable during the lifetime of the person to whom the Incentive
Stock Option is granted only by such person. A Nonstatutory Stock Option shall
only be transferable by the Optionee upon such terms and conditions as are set
forth in the Option Agreement for such Nonstatutory Stock Option, as the Board
or the Committee shall determine in its discretion, except that each
Nonstatutory Stock Option may be transferred to the spouse, children, lineal
ancestors and lineal descendants of the Optionee (or to a trust created solely
for the benefit of the Optionee and the foregoing persons) or to an organization
exempt from taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Code or to which tax
deductible charitable contributions may be made under Section 170 of the Code
(excluding such organizations classified as private foundations under applicable
regulations and rulings). The person to whom the Option is granted may, by
delivering written notice to the Company, in a form satisfactory to the Company,
designate a third party who, in the event of the death of the Optionee, shall
thereafter be entitled to exercise the Option.

         (E) VESTING. The total number of shares of stock subject to an Option
may, but need not, be allotted in periodic installments (which may, but need
not, be equal). The Option Agreement may provide that from time to time during
each of such installment periods, the Option may become exercisable ("vest")
with respect to some or all of the shares allotted to that period, and may be
exercised with respect to some or all of the shares allotted to such period
and/or any prior period as to which the Option became vested but was not fully
exercised. The Option may be subject to such other terms and conditions on the
time or times when it may be exercised (which may be based on performance or
other criteria) as the Board may deem appropriate. The provisions of this
subsection 6(e) are subject to any Option provisions governing the minimum
number of shares as to which an Option may be exercised.

         (F) SECURITIES LAW COMPLIANCE. The Company may require any Optionee, or
any person to whom an Option is transferred under subsection 6(d), as a
condition of exercising any such Option, (1) to give written assurances
satisfactory to the Company as to the Optionee's knowledge and experience in
financial and business matters and/or to employ a purchaser representative
reasonably satisfactory to the Company who is knowledgeable and experienced in
financial and business matters, and that he or she is capable of evaluating,
alone or together with the purchaser representative, the merits and risks of
exercising the Option; and (2) to give written assurances satisfactory to the
Company stating that such person is acquiring the stock subject to the Option
for such person's own account and not with any present intention of selling or
otherwise distributing the stock. The foregoing requirements, and any assurances
given pursuant to such requirements, shall be inoperative if (i) the issuance of
the shares upon the exercise of the Option has been registered under a then
currently effective registration statement under the Securities Act, or (ii) as
to any particular requirement, a determination is made by counsel for the
Company that such requirement need not be met in the circumstances under the
then applicable 




                                       6.
<PAGE>   7

securities laws. The Company may require the Optionee to provide such other
representations, written assurances or information which the Company shall
determine is necessary, desirable or appropriate to comply with applicable
securities and other laws as a condition of granting an Option to such Optionee
or permitting the Optionee to exercise such Option. The Company may, upon advice
of counsel to the Company, place legends on stock certificates issued under the
Plan as such counsel deems necessary or appropriate in order to comply with
applicable securities laws, including, but not limited to, legends restricting
the transfer of the stock.

         (G) TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT. In the event an Optionee's Continuous
Status as an Employee terminates (other than upon the Optionee's death or
disability), the Optionee may exercise his or her Option (to the extent that the
Optionee was entitled to exercise it as of the date of termination) but only
within such period of time ending on the earlier of (i) the date three (3)
months following the termination of the Optionee's Continuous Status as an
Employee, or such longer or shorter period specified in the Option Agreement, or
(ii) the expiration of the term of the Option as set forth in the Option
Agreement. If, at the date of termination, the Optionee is not entitled to
exercise his or her entire Option, the shares covered by the unexercisable
portion of the Option shall revert to and again become available for issuance
under the Plan. If, after termination, the Optionee does not exercise his or her
Option within the time specified in the Option Agreement, the Option shall
terminate, and the shares covered by such Option shall revert to and again
become available for issuance under the Plan.

         (H) DISABILITY OF OPTIONEE. In the event an Optionee's Continuous
Status as an Employee terminates as a result of the Optionee's disability, the
Optionee may exercise his or her Option (to the extent that the Optionee was
entitled to exercise it as of the date of termination), but only within such
period of time ending on the earlier of (i) the date twelve (12) months
following such termination (or such longer or shorter period specified in the
Option Agreement), or (ii) the expiration of the term of the Option as set forth
in the Option Agreement. If, at the date of termination, the Optionee is not
entitled to exercise his or her entire Option, the shares covered by the
unexercisable portion of the Option shall revert to and again become available
for issuance under the Plan. If, after termination, the Optionee does not
exercise his or her Option within the time specified herein, the Option shall
terminate, and the shares covered by such Option shall revert to and again
become available for issuance under the Plan.

         (I) DEATH OF OPTIONEE. In the event of the death of an Optionee during,
or within a period specified in the Option Agreement after the termination of,
the Optionee's Continuous Status as an Employee, the Option may be exercised (to
the extent the Optionee was entitled to exercise the Option as of the date of
death) by the Optionee's estate, by a person who acquired the right to exercise
the Option by bequest or inheritance or by a person designated to exercise the
option upon the Optionee's death pursuant to subsection 6(d), but only within
the period ending on the earlier of (i) the date eighteen (18) months following
the date of death (or such longer or shorter period specified in the Option
Agreement), or (ii) the expiration of the term of such Option as set forth in
the Option Agreement. If, at the time of death, the Optionee was not entitled to
exercise his or her entire Option, the shares covered by the unexercisable
portion of the Option shall revert to and again become available for issuance
under the Plan. If, after death, the Option is not exercised within the time
specified herein, the Option shall terminate, and the shares covered by such
Option shall revert to and again become available for issuance under the Plan.



                                       7.
<PAGE>   8

         (J) EARLY EXERCISE. The Option may, but need not, include a provision
whereby the Optionee may elect at any time while an Employee to exercise the
Option as to any part or all of the shares subject to the Option prior to the
full vesting of the Option. Any unvested shares so purchased may be subject to a
repurchase right in favor of the Company or to any other restriction the Board
determines to be appropriate.

         (K) RIGHT OF REPURCHASE. The Option may, but need not, include a
provision whereby the Company may elect, prior to the Listing Date, to
repurchase all or any part of the vested shares exercised pursuant to the Option

         (L) RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL. The Option may, but need not, include a
provision whereby the Company may elect, prior to the Listing Date, to exercise
a right of first refusal following receipt of notice from the Optionee of the
intent to transfer all or any part of the shares exercised pursuant to the
Option.

         (M) WITHHOLDING. To the extent provided by the terms of an Option
Agreement, the Optionee may satisfy any federal, state or local tax withholding
obligation relating to the exercise of such Option by any of the following means
or by a combination of such means: (1) tendering a cash payment; (2) authorizing
the Company to withhold shares from the shares of the common stock otherwise
issuable to the Optionee as a result of the exercise of the Option; or (3)
delivering to the Company owned and unencumbered shares of the common stock of
the Company.

7.       COVENANTS OF THE COMPANY.

         (A) During the terms of the Options, the Company shall keep available
at all times the number of shares of stock required to satisfy such Options.

         (B) The Company shall seek to obtain from each regulatory commission or
agency having jurisdiction over the Plan such authority as may be required to
issue and sell shares of stock upon exercise of the Options; provided, however,
that this undertaking shall not require the Company to register under the
Securities Act either the Plan, any Option or any stock issued or issuable
pursuant to any such Option. If, after reasonable efforts, the Company is unable
to obtain from any such regulatory commission or agency the authority which
counsel for the Company deems necessary for the lawful issuance and sale of
stock under the Plan, the Company shall be relieved from any liability for
failure to issue and sell stock upon exercise of such Options unless and until
such authority is obtained.

8.       USE OF PROCEEDS FROM STOCK.

         Proceeds from the sale of stock pursuant to Options shall constitute
general funds of the Company.



                                       8.
<PAGE>   9


9.       MISCELLANEOUS.

         (A) The Board shall have the power to accelerate the time at which an
Option may first be exercised or the time during which an Option or any part
thereof will vest pursuant to subsection 6(e), notwithstanding the provisions in
the Option stating the time at which it may first be exercised or the time
during which it will vest.

         (B) Neither an Optionee nor any person to whom an Option is transferred
under subsection 6(d) shall be deemed to be the holder of, or to have any of the
rights of a holder with respect to, any shares subject to such Option unless and
until such person has satisfied all requirements for exercise of the Option
pursuant to its terms.

         (C) Throughout the term of any Option, the Company shall deliver to the
holder of such Option, not later than one hundred twenty (120) days after the
close of each of the Company's fiscal years during the Option term, a balance
sheet and an income statement. This section shall not apply (i) after the
Listing Date, or (ii) when issuance is limited to key employees whose duties in
connection with the Company assure them access to equivalent information.

         (D) Nothing in the Plan or any instrument executed or Option granted
pursuant thereto shall confer upon any Employee any right to continue in the
employ of the Company or any Affiliate or shall affect the right of the Company
or any Affiliate to terminate the employment of any Employee, with or without
cause, or to remove any Officer or Director as provided in the Company's Bylaws
and the provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law.

         (E) To the extent that the aggregate Fair Market Value (determined at
the time of grant) of stock with respect to which Incentive Stock Options are
exercisable for the first time by any Optionee during any calendar year under
the Plan and all other plans of the Company and its Affiliates exceeds one
hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the Options or portions thereof which
exceed such limit (according to the order in which they were granted) shall be
treated as Nonstatutory Stock Options.

         (F) (1) The Board or the Committee shall have the authority to effect,
at any time and from time to time (i) the repricing of any outstanding Options
under the Plan and/or (ii) with the consent of the affected holders of Options,
the cancellation of any outstanding Options and the grant in substitution
therefor of new Options under the Plan covering the same or different numbers of
shares of common stock, but having an exercise price per share not less than
fifty percent (50%) of the Fair Market Value (one hundred percent (100%) of the
Fair Market Value in the case of an Incentive Stock Option or, in the case of a
ten percent (10%) stockholder (as defined in subsection 5(b)), not less than one
hundred and ten percent (110%) of the Fair Market Value) per share of common
stock on the new grant date.

             (2) Shares subject to an Option canceled under this subsection 9(f)
shall continue to be counted, for the applicable period in which it was granted,
against the maximum award of Options permitted to be granted pursuant to
subsection 5(c) of the Plan. The repricing of an Option under this subsection
9(f), resulting in a reduction of the exercise price, shall be deemed to be a
cancellation of the original Option and the grant of a substitute Option; in the
event of such repricing, both the original and the substituted Options shall be
counted for the



                                       9.
<PAGE>   10

applicable period against the maximum awards of Options permitted to be granted
pursuant to subsection 5(c) of the Plan. The provisions of this subsection
9(f)(2) shall be applicable only to the extent required by Section 162(m) of the
Code.

10.      ADJUSTMENTS UPON CHANGES IN STOCK.

         (A) If any change is made in the stock subject to the Plan, or subject
to any Option (through merger, consolidation, reorganization, recapitalization,
stock dividend, dividend in property other than cash, stock split, liquidating
dividend, combination of shares, exchange of shares, change in corporate
structure or other transaction not involving the receipt of consideration by the
Company), the Plan will be appropriately adjusted in the type(s) and maximum
number of securities subject to the Plan pursuant to subsection 4(a) and the
maximum number of securities subject to award to any person pursuant to
subsection 5(c), and the outstanding Options will be appropriately adjusted in
the type(s) and number of securities and price per share of stock subject to
such outstanding Options. Such adjustments shall be made by the Board or
Committee, the determination of which shall be final, binding and conclusive.
(The conversion of any convertible securities of the Company shall not be
treated as a "transaction not involving the receipt of consideration by the
Company.")

         (B) In the event of: (1) a dissolution, liquidation, or sale of all or
substantially all of the assets of the Company; (2) a merger or consolidation in
which the Company is not the surviving corporation; or (3) a reverse merger in
which the Company is the surviving corporation but the shares of the Company's
common stock outstanding immediately preceding the merger are converted by
virtue of the merger into other property, whether in the form of securities,
cash or otherwise, then: (i) any surviving or acquiring corporation shall assume
Options outstanding under the Plan or shall substitute similar options
(including an option to acquire the same consideration paid to stockholders in
the transaction described in this Subsection 10(b)) for those outstanding under
the Plan, or (ii) in the event any surviving or acquiring corporation refuses to
assume such Options or to substitute similar options for those outstanding under
the Plan, the vesting of such Options and the time during which such Options may
be exercised shall be accelerated prior to such event and the Options terminated
if not exercised after such acceleration and at or prior to such event.

11.      AMENDMENT OF THE PLAN AND OPTIONS.

         (A) The Board at any time, and from time to time, may amend the Plan.
However, except as provided in Section 10 relating to adjustments upon changes
in stock, no amendment shall be effective unless approved by the stockholders of
the Company within twelve (12) months before or after the adoption of the
amendment if such amendment requires stockholder approval in order for the Plan
to satisfy the requirements of Section 422 of the Code, Rule 16b-3 or to comply
with applicable Nasdaq or stock exchange listing requirements.

         (B) The Board may in its sole discretion submit any other amendment to
the Plan for stockholder approval, including, but not limited to, amendments to
the Plan intended to satisfy the requirements of Section 162(m) of the Code and
the regulations promulgated thereunder regarding the exclusion of
performance-based compensation from the limit on corporate deductibility of
compensation paid to certain executive officers.



                                      10.
<PAGE>   11

         (C) It is expressly contemplated that the Board may amend the Plan in
any respect the Board deems necessary or advisable to provide Optionees with the
maximum benefits provided or to be provided under the provisions of the Code and
the regulations promulgated thereunder relating to Incentive Stock Options
and/or to bring the Plan and/or Incentive Stock Options granted under it into
compliance therewith.

         (D) Rights and obligations under any Option granted before amendment of
the Plan shall not be impaired by any amendment of the Plan unless (i) the
Company requests the consent of the person to whom the Option was granted and
(ii) such person consents in writing.

         (E) The Board at any time, and from time to time, may amend the terms
of any one or more Options; provided, however, that the rights and obligations
under any Option shall not be impaired by any such amendment unless (i) the
Company requests the consent of the person to whom the Option was granted and
(ii) such person consents in writing.

12.      TERMINATION OR SUSPENSION OF THE PLAN.

         (A) The Board may suspend or terminate the Plan at any time. Unless
sooner terminated, the Plan shall terminate on January 29, 2008, which shall be
within ten (10) years from the date the Plan is adopted by the Board or approved
by the stockholders of the Company, whichever is earlier. No Options may be
granted under the Plan while the Plan is suspended or after it is terminated.

         (B) Rights and obligations under any Option granted while the Plan is
in effect shall not be impaired by suspension or termination of the Plan, except
with the written consent of the person to whom the Option was granted.

13.      EFFECTIVE DATE OF PLAN.

         The Plan shall become effective as determined by the Board, but no
Options granted under the Plan shall be exercised unless and until the Plan has
been approved by the stockholders of the Company, which approval shall be within
twelve (12) months before or after the date the Plan is adopted by the Board.





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