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Wireless Magazine Authors: Scott Allen, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict

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DigitalBridge Communications Announces a Strategic Investment by National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) to Support Expansion of Rural Broadband

ASHBURN, Va., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- DigitalBridge Communications Corp. (DBC), the leading private operator of WiMAX 4G broadband networks in underserved regions of the U.S., announced today that it has raised an additional round of equity financing, including an investment from the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative. The current round of financing also includes all of the company's existing Series B investors: Paladin Capital Group, RedShift Ventures, CNF Investments, and Novak Biddle Venture Partners.

By combining capabilities, NRTC members and DigitalBridge will be able to rapidly deploy affordable, next-generation services to large parts of rural America. DBC's deployment capabilities, state-of-the-art Network Operations Center, scalable billing and customer care systems, and solid operating record will be further leveraged and enhanced by NRTC members' track record of rolling out new technologies in their rural communities.

Through its nearly 1,500 rural telecommunications and electric cooperative members, NRTC has been a pioneer in introducing advanced telecommunications services to strengthen its members' businesses and improve the quality of life in rural America. During the mid-1990s NRTC provided the first external funding and led in the launch of DIRECTV, activating nearly 2 million of its initial subscribers. More recently, NRTC repeated that success by investing in WildBlue, a satellite internet access provider. NRTC activated all of WildBlue's first-year customers, and today WildBlue provides Internet access to more than 350,000 subscribers. In addition, NRTC members provide ISP services to more than 200,000 subscribers.

Over the past two years, DBC has launched service in 15 communities nationwide. The company not only brings fixed broadband wireless services to a variety of customers--consumers, businesses, educational, healthcare, and public safety institutions--but also provides mobile broadband services though WiMAX-enabled laptops, netbooks, USB adapters and other portable devices. DBC's open, all-IP network and cost structure enable NRTC members to significantly expand broadband service in their markets at a fraction of the capital and operating cost required for traditional wired and wireless services. Moreover, in addition to sales force and field-technician jobs, DBC brings high-quality customer care jobs to the local communities it serves through its distributed, home-based customer-care model.

"We are excited to partner with DigitalBridge on behalf of our members to further the deployment of next-generation broadband services in rural America," said Bob Phillips, President and CEO of NRTC and newly-named DBC board member. "Together, NRTC's scale - reaching over 80% of US counties -- and DBC's proven capabilities makes for an unmatched combination that will allow our members to expand the reach of broadband services in their markets." Phillips noted that NRTC member companies have already done a remarkable job in delivering broadband to rural communities but said that with DBC they will be able to rapidly expand and ensure access to fixed and mobile broadband by millions more rural Americans.

"I can't think of a better partner for DBC at this stage of our growth," said Kelley Dunne, CEO of DigitalBridge Communications. "NRTC brings an unparalleled local presence in rural America that will greatly accelerate our ability to deliver innovative, 4G wireless services to the communities that need it the most."

Founded by Kelley Dunne, Bill Wallace, and Joe Kochan in late 2005, DBC was the first U.S. provider to launch standards-based WiMAX service during June 2007, the first to launch a standards-based (802.16E) WiMAX mobile service during June 2008, and the first to launch VOIP over WiMAX during October 2008. An established international standard for wireless telecommunications, WiMAX uses licensed frequencies of radio spectrum to deliver high-bandwidth fixed and mobile data services capable of self-installation by end users.

Additional questions can be directed to Stephanie Soscia at [email protected] or (703) 723-7091.

About DigitalBridge Communications

DigitalBridge Communications Corp. ("DBC") is a 4G wireless Internet provider using WiMAX to deliver broadband services to underserved communities nationwide. DBC was founded in 2005 by Kelley Dunne, Bill Wallace, and Joe Kochan. Since launching its service during 2007, DBC has deployed WiMAX networks in 15 markets throughout the U.S. With WiMAX, DBC subscribers are able to set up fixed or mobile broadband service on their own within a matter of minutes and use their portable service anywhere within DBC's coverage area. For more information about DBC, please visit www.digitalbridgecommunications.com.

About National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) represents the advanced telecommunications and information technology interests of nearly 1,500 rural utilities and affiliates in 48 states. Founded in 1986, NRTC provides products and services developed specifically to meet the needs of rural utilities and their customers, such as high-speed Internet access via satellite, full-service Internet access and support, advanced metering infrastructure, SmartSCADA, wireless technologies, power quality products, long distance programs, mobile phone service, IP backbone services, direct broadcast satellite service (DBS) with DIRECTV and programming for Internet protocol television (IPTV). For more information, visit www.nrtc.coop.

About CNF Investments

CNF Investments is the private equity and venture capital arm of Clark Enterprises, Inc. (CEI). CEI is a diversified financial and investment company with significant holdings in construction, real estate and private equity. CEI is the parent company of Clark Construction, one of the largest general contractors in the country. CNF Investments manages over $175 million on behalf of CEI and is an active investor in the technology, telecommunications, healthcare, energy, and alternative energy industries. For more information, please visit www.cnfinvestments.com.

About Novak Biddle Venture Partners

Novak Biddle Venture Partners is a leading early stage venture capital firm focused on unique, cutting-edge technology investments in the Eastern United States, as well as targeted opportunities nationwide. With $580 million under management, Novak Biddle operates five venture funds that currently provide equity financing and management assistance to 42 portfolio companies. Novak Biddle continues to seek business situations where the combination of ideas, dollars, experience, and relationships can create long term, sustainable value. A sampling of companies funded by Novak Biddle include: RFID first-mover Matrics, voice over IP trailblazer Telogy, education technology leader Blackboard Inc. and intelligent video surveillance pioneer ObjectVideo. For more information, visit www.novakbiddle.com.

About Paladin Capital Group

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Paladin Capital group is a leading multi-stage private equity firm providing capital for growing companies whose principal business centers on products and services that address homeland security issues and needs. Paladin has over $980 million under management across multiple funds and 35 portfolio companies. Importantly, the fund's leadership is comprised of individuals with a proven track record of financial expertise, national security experience and specialized technical competence. Collectively, Paladin's Principals have completed over 100 direct and co-investments in a wide range of industries. For more, see www.paladincapgroup.com

About RedShift Ventures

RedShift Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm focused on tech transfer and spin-out opportunities from universities, research centers and corporations. RedShift primarily invests in the communications, microelectronics and information technology sectors and is traditionally the first institutional investor in a company. With the assistance of a world-class Advisory Board, RedShift works with entrepreneurs to build great companies based on compelling and differentiated technologies. RedShift Ventures has over $220 million under management and is headquartered in Arlington, VA. For more information, please visit www.redshiftventures.com.

SOURCE DigitalBridge Communications Corp.

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