Press Release

Four WiMAX Forum® Operator Members Apply for Funds: Clearwire, Digital Bridge Communications, Open Range Communications, Towerstream

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. –(Business Wire)– Dec 01, 2009 Over 300 WiMAX applications accounted for one-fourth of the total last mile broadband stimulus applications received by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture’s RUS fund, according to the WiMAX Forum. In total, WiMAX-related applicants applied for $1.6 billion of the $14.212 billion requested by the 1,130 total applicants for last mile deployments. The turnout shows the strong potential for WiMAX helping to end the digital divide in the U.S. at a significantly lower cost than traditional wireline deployments.

“WiMAX can be deployed over wide areas to serve thousands of consumers cheaper and faster than traditional wireline services,” said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. “For every dollar spent on a new network, a WiMAX operator can cover 10 to 20 times the number of homes and businesses with WiMAX service than they can cover with wireline. These savings are passed along to the customer, who spends only $25-35 a month on a WiMAX connection with comparable speed to a $50-60 cable or wireline connection.”

More than $4 billion has been set aside for the first round of stimulus grants, with $7.2 billion in total funds available. With bidders applying for almost $28 billion in broadband stimulus money, the need for capital to bring broadband to rural American is an expensive and necessary undertaking. About 12 percent of U.S. households have no access to broadband service, placing the U.S. at 15th in broadband penetration worldwide.

WiMAX technology can bring 4G broadband services to rural areas, which are typically last priority for wireless carriers but most in need of these services. 4G service in these areas can enable vital services such as eGovernment, distance learning and remote healthcare. WiMAX is also valuable because of its quick and effective time to deployment. A large-scale WiMAX network can be successfully deployed and activated in six to 15 months, depending on size of deployment. Rural broadband is important to bring economic gains to underdeveloped areas. According to a recent report by the Brookings Institution, for every 10% increase in broadband penetration of a rural area, the number of non-farming jobs grows by 0.2 – 0.3%.

“We applaud the administration’s efforts to bridge the digital divide, and we believe that WiMAX delivers a competitive means to deliver true broadband services throughout the country,” said Gerry Salemme, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Policy and External Affairs for Clearwire. “While our modest grant submissions won’t impact Clearwire’s overall national plans, we know they would have a meaningful impact to additional underserved areas, and we’re pleased to back the administration’s initiatives to serve these communities.”

“WiMAX enables operators to meet stimulus goals directly, namely bringing affordable, 4G broadband services to underserved areas very rapidly and cost effectively while also generating a substantial number of jobs,” said Kelley Dunne, CEO and co-founder of Digital Bridge Communications. “We are particularly pleased to have an opportunity to bring the portability and mobility benefits of such services to rural areas first for a change–often before nearby urban areas receive such services. And we can bring this service to rural homes at about $200 each.”

“The broadband stimulus presents a unique opportunity to create jobs by delivering high-speed broadband service to underserved urban and rural areas that need it most,” said Matthew J. Tooker, Vice President of Sales for Towerstream and scheduled presenter at WiMAX Forum Americas Congress. “By applying for stimulus funding, Towerstream hopes to bring its reliable, high-speed, wireless broadband service to businesses in urban underserved areas, helping them to increase productivity and stay competitive. I look forward to discussing the program and its potential at the upcoming WiMAX Forum Americas Congress.” The WiMAX Forum recently completed a case study on Towerstream’s WiMAX services, to download a copy, please visit: http://www.wimaxforum.org/resources/documents/marketing/casestudies.

The WiMAX Forum’s membership base represents a thriving WiMAX ecosystem which supports the more than 518 WiMAX network deployments in 146 countries. A complete list of members is available online at http://www.wimaxforum.org/about/. For more information on the WiMAX ecosystem, please visit www.WiMAXTimes.com. For more information on the U.S. Broadband Stimulus efforts, please visit http://www.broadbandusa.gov/.

Original Release

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