SOURCE: Conterra Ultra Broadband

August 22, 2006 08:30 ET

Conterra Ultra Broadband Completes Major Equity Financing With DukeNet and GE Commercial Finance

Enters Into Commercial Broadband Alliance With DukeNet

CHARLOTTE, NC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 22, 2006 -- Conterra Ultra Broadband, a national provider of high speed, high capacity broadband network services in rural and outer suburban markets, today announced closure of private equity investments led by DukeNet Communications, a telecom subsidiary of Duke Energy Corporation, one of North America's largest energy companies, and by GE Commercial Finance.

The proceeds of this financing will be used for capital expenditures and operating expenses associated with the ongoing rollout of Conterra's hybrid fiber/microwave networks that deliver carrier-class broadband services to education, healthcare, enterprise and government users in underserved communities throughout the country. In the education segment, Conterra has contracts to provide its broadband services to approximately 90 school districts in 10 states. Bluffview Capital, LP acted as Financial Advisor to Conterra on the capital raise.

"This additional capital, along with Conterra's current capital resources, will ensure both the rapid, high quality deployment of our wide area network services to schools throughout the country, and the expansion of our alternative access service offerings to other customer segments in the communities where we have established a presence," commented Conterra's President and CEO, Steve Leeolou. "It is gratifying to be joined in pursuing the many business opportunities we see ahead by such blue chip, financially strong partners as DukeNet and GE Commercial Finance," added Leeolou.

In addition to the private equity investments, Conterra and DukeNet have entered into a commercial alliance whereby DukeNet will provide optical fiber services and Conterra will provide wireless broadband services as part of single source, total solution service offerings for broadband intensive customers within DukeNet's service area.

"Conterra's management brings decades of experience in wireless engineering and network operations which nicely complement DukeNet's expertise with optical fiber network services across many different customer groups," said DukeNet President, Brad Davis. "With growing demand for bandwidth, teaming up with Conterra positions us extremely well to offer a full suite of scaleable telecommunications solutions, tailored to meet our customers' needs."

About Conterra Ultra Broadband

Conterra Ultra Broadband, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a national provider of facilities-based broadband network services for education, enterprises, government, and healthcare customers in rural and outer suburban markets who require bandwidth intensive voice and data transport services and carrier-grade Service Level Agreements.

Privately owned, Conterra was established by the founders and management of Vanguard Cellular System, Inc., one of the first independent cellular companies in the United States, started in 1982. Highly regarded as a technology leader, Vanguard designed, built and operated its own point-to-point microwave broadband systems to support wireless voice and data traffic within its cellular networks throughout the country. For more information, visit www.conterra.com or call: 800-634-1374.

About DukeNet Communications, LLC

DukeNet Communications develops and manages fiber-optic communications systems for wireless, local and long-distance communications companies and selected educational, governmental, financial and health-care entities. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, DukeNet is the telecommunications arm of Duke Energy Corporation, a Fortune 500 and diversified energy company with a portfolio of natural gas and electric businesses traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about DukeNet is available at www.dukenet.com.

Contact Information