The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative’s (NRTC) local members will soon have the opportunity to provide high-speed, fixed and mobile broadband Internet access to “unwired” communities nationwide, thanks to a distribution agreement the NRTC has completed with DigitalBridge Communications Corp. (DBC).

DBC is a private operator of WiMAX 4G broadband networks in underserved regions of the U.S. The agreement gives NRTC members the opportunity to expand next-generation broadband service to underserved and unserved areas in rural America. The NRTC has also made an investment in DigitalBridge, the terms of which are not being disclosed.

“The Administration and Congress have made the expansion of broadband a national priority, and it's a goal that we embrace,” said Bob Phillips, the NRTC’s president and CEO.

“Our nearly 1,500 members have a commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities they serve and have demonstrated the ability to deliver advanced technologies to their consumer members. … Now we will once again lead a technological revolution for underserved rural communities, this time by providing fixed and mobile broadband Internet access.”

The NRTC is developing a plan to enable its members to offer “universal access to broadband service throughout rural America” by delivering a combination of WiMAX and satellite-delivered Internet access. Through this plan, NRTC members will have the capability to expand broadband offerings to residences, businesses, schools, public facilities, medical centers and, where applicable, tribal lands, the organization said.

“WiMAX is rapidly being deployed around the globe. It is a proven, scalable technology that is ‘shovel-ready’ and a natural fit for our members who have a proven track record of delivering new technologies, such as DirecTV and WildBlue satellite Internet service,” Phillips said.

With the investment in DBC, NRTC also acquires a seat on the company's board of directors.

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