Conterra Commences Federally Backed Broadband Services For Rural Texas Students

Bridging the Digital Divide: Video Conferencing and Distance Learning Network

October 30, 2009; Charlotte, NC– Conterra Telecom Services, a national broadband services company specializing in underserved rural areas, has announced the initial commencement of high-speed wireless wide area network services to the” NetXV Consortium,” a collaborative technology initiative among Texas Region 15 Educational Service Center (ESC XV) members. Conterra has deployed a state-of-the-art microwave radio based, Ethernet network to provide Video Conferencing and Distance Learning network services. When completed, Conterra’s wide area broadband network will provide fiber optic quality Internet voice, video and data services to 43 of ESC XV’s member districts. The seven year contract was awarded to Conterra through the federal E-Rate program which subsidizes a large portion of the consortium member’s costs of the new broadband services.

The NetXV Consortium membership consists of mostly small, remote school districts that are disbursed across a massive land area of some 25,000 square miles. Ubiquitous high-quality, high-speed broadband services have historically been virtually non-existent across these rural parts of ESC XV. Conterra’s intelligent broadband networks support the convergence of integrated data, video and voice services on a single circuit which provides for a single source of telecommunication transport services and performance accountability.

The new wide area broadband network connects the participating consortium members to ESC XV’s regional offices located in San Angelo. Conterra monitors, manages and supports the network on a 24X7X365 basis and delivers network performance and reliability levels comparable to those in optical fiber networks which are primarily located in major urban areas. “We are very excited to have this high-speed broadband network service started for our member districts. The services we provide our districts are already greatly impacted”, according to Scot Goen, the ESC’s Executive Director. “Distance learning, video quality, speed, and increased bandwidth in our districts are allowing our students to explore educational opportunities that have not been available to them in the past. We have several districts in our region that have implemented one-to-one laptop initiatives and the increased bandwidth through this project is allowing multiple users to access the internet at anytime without the delays they once experienced. The Wireless Wide Area Network enables us to provide better services to our districts, and they in turn, are better equipped to prepare their students for the 21st century”, added Mr. Goen.

The Region 15 Wide Area Network services contract is one of three major E-Rate subsidized telecommunications projects recently deployed by Conterra in rural Texas. A similar Conterra high-speed broadband network to service Region 14 ESC became operational in 2008 and a new broadband network for Region 10 ESC has recently commenced service. “Through our state-of-the-art broadband networks, Conterra will deliver high-quality, high-speed Ethernet broadband and Internet services to 125 Texas school districts at performance levels comparable to those enjoyed by schools in the state’s largest metropolitan areas,” commented Conterra’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Dennis Francis. “And, thanks to the federal E-rate program, which subsidizes a large portion of essential telecommunication services for underserved school districts, students and teachers in this part of rural Texas will not have to wait on funding from the government’s new Stimulus Package to take advantage of new videobased educational opportunities that are available right now through the Internet,” added Mr. Francis.

About Conterra Telecom Services
Conterra Telecom Services (“Conterra”), headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a national provider of facilities-based broadband services for K-20, healthcare and government entities; wireless carriers and select enterprises that require bandwidth intensive, carrier-grade data, video and voice transport services primarily in underserved rural America markets. Conterra and its subsidiaries currently provide these services to over 1,000 K-12 schools, colleges, government and commercial sites throughout the United States, affording broadband services to over one million students, teachers, administrators and others.

Privately owned, Conterra was established by the founders and members of management of Vanguard Cellular Systems, Inc., which became one of the first and largest independent cellular companies in the United States. Started in 1982, Vanguard designed, built and operated its own point-to-point microwave transport systems to support wireless voice and data traffic within its mostly rural cellular networks throughout the country which are now part of AT&T Mobility. For more information about Conterra, visit www.conterra.com or call: 800-634-1374.