Federal Funding Enables Gigabit-Speed Broadband and Advanced Network Services to Support IP-Based Applications
BROOMFIELD, Colo., Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) today announced that it has signed an agreement withHabersham Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), a sub-recipient of the funding for theNorth Georgia Network Cooperative (NGN), to interconnect with the organization’s regional network, assisting efforts to improve broadband connectivity and network services in the communities and rural areas of northernGeorgia.
NGN, whose stakeholders include two rural electric cooperatives, Habersham EMC and Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, was the one of the first recipients of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009. With more than$41 millionin grants and matching funds, NGN’s 1000-mile regional fiber-optic network will extend fromAtlantato many northern Georgia communities, reaching over 50,000 homes, businesses, government, education and medical institutions. The agreement will provide rural Georgia markets with direct access to Level 3’s advanced network services and expansive international reach. NGN will be the conduit for transporting gigabit speed broadband to and from the Level 3 network.
“Our organization is dedicated to improving broadband connections and network services in northGeorgia,” saidBruce Abraham, president of NGN. “Along with our regional economic development partners, we believe that our relationship with Level 3 will usher in a new era of advanced applications and connectivity for our rural communities.”
The combined fiber networks will enable NGN stakeholders and service providers to deliver advanced communication services to help stimulate economic growth, create jobs and allow local enterprises to compete in a rapidly evolving global marketplace. Additionally, homeowners, businesses and communities will have access to new, affordable services and unique applications that facilitate online education, telemedicine and energy conservation initiatives.
Among the new services, Habersham EMC is deploying an IP-based, energy management solution that enables the utility and its customers to monitor and control energy consumption and costs on a real-time basis from a PC or smart phone. This will enable them to manage the increasing demand for electricity as well as related generation and distribution costs. EnerSphere, a communications service provider, is helping Habersham EMC with this solution roll-out by deploying broadband infrastructure, reducing peak energy demand costs and delivering services to customers. These types of energy management systems and the underlying technologies requires reliable and secure broadband communications infrastructure, such as Level 3’s advanced fiber-optic network, to facilitate potentially millions of simultaneous interactions.
The value proposition of this joint effort is powerful. Rural electric cooperative members and customers will be able to receive relevant information that they can immediately take action on to conserve energy and reduce costs; the utility will benefit by shifting electricity demand during peak periods to reduce its costs; and society avoids or defers construction of additional energy generation facilities, saving billions of dollars and reducing carbon emissions that pollute the atmosphere.
“In addition to providing electricity, Habersham continually evaluates technology and communications that can be leveraged to improve operations and deliver more value to our members,” saidTodd Pealock, CEO of Habersham EMC. “Utilizing NGN’s fiber network to extend Level 3’s international reach and high-capacity broadband connectivity into north Georgia accelerates the availability of affordable, high-speed Internet access, competitive voice and video services, plus applications that can improve the way our communities and residents conduct business. We appreciate the investment of capital and resources that NGN, Level 3 and EnerSphere are making to introduce new communication alternatives, promote energy conservation, and help Habersham and its members reduce energy costs.”
“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act outlined the goal of providing extensive broadband access for all Americans, particularly aiming to improve broadband coverage among rural communities,” saidAndrew Crouch, president of Sales for Level 3. “By interconnecting with NGN, we are working to help the organization and its partners maximize the impact of their broadband stimulus funding. We are delighted that through this agreement rural communities in northGeorgiawill have access to an international network dedicated to providing cutting-edge communications services.”
For more information on Level 3’s advanced network services, visit www.level3.com.
About The North Georgia Network (NGN)
The North Georgia Network (NGN) is a non-profit company that is building and managing a 1000-mile fiber optic network to deliver high-speed broadband access to thousands of businesses, community institutions including public schools, universities, hospitals and government facilities and homes in an eight-county area of northGeorgia. This initiative was chartered by the Economic Development Authorities ofLumpkin, Dawson, Union and White Counties, together with Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, Habersham EMC andNorth Georgia College & State Universityto stimulate economic growth by improving the broadband infrastructure in the region.
About Level 3 Communications
Level 3 Communications, Inc.(NASDAQ: LVLT) is a premier international provider of IP-based communications services to enterprise, content, government and wholesale customers. Over its reliable, scalable and secure network, Level 3 delivers integrated IP solutions, including converged, data, voice, video and managed solutions to help enable customers’ growth and efficiency. Level 3 operates a unique global services platform anchored by owned fiber networks on three continents in more than 45 countries, connected by extensive undersea facilities. For more information, visit www.level3.com.
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Some of the statements made in this press release are forward looking in nature. These statements are based on management’s current expectations or beliefs. These forward looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside Level 3’s control, which could cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the statements. The most important factors that could prevent Level 3 from achieving its stated goals include, but are not limited to: the company’s ability to successfully integrate the Global Crossing acquisition, the current uncertainty in the global financial markets and the global economy; a discontinuation of the development and expansion of the Internet as a communications medium and marketplace for the distribution and consumption of data and video; and disruptions in the financial markets that could affect Level 3’s ability to obtain additional financing. Additional factors include, but are not limited to, the company’s ability to: increase and maintain the volume of traffic on its network; develop effective business support systems; manage system and network failures or disruptions; develop new services that meet customer demands and generate acceptable margins; defend intellectual property and proprietary rights; adapt to rapid technological changes that lead to further competition; attract and retain qualified management and other personnel; successfully integrate future acquisitions; and meet all of the terms and conditions of debt obligations. Additional information concerning these and other important factors can be found within Level 3’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Statements in this press release should be evaluated in light of these important factors. Level 3 is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
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