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IBM Global Financing will accelerate rural broadband access, the United States with a new financing

11 September 2009 1,371 views No Comment

IBM Global Financing to Speed up Broadband Access to Rural America With New
Financing That Benefits IBEC and DS2.
ARMONK, N.Y., and HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — IBM
Global Financing, the lending and leasing business segment of IBM (NYSE: IBM)
today announced that it has recently reached a new financing arrangement that
would help accelerate customer access to high speed Internet in rural areas.

(Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )

The funding agreement would benefit Broadband over Power Line (BPL) technology
provider International Broadband Electric Communications, Inc. (IBEC) and one
of its leading integrated chip (IC) suppliers, DS2.  IBEC has developed
technology that would deliver broadband access over electric power lines. IBEC
is currently working with local electric utility cooperatives to build out a
broadband network throughout parts of rural America, predominantly in the
South, East and Midwest. Presently, IBEC delivers high-speed Internet access
and provides 24/7/365 customer service to the cooperatives’
consumer-membership.

IBM Global Financing has entered into a financing agreement with DS2, which
provides important integrated chip technology to IBEC for the manufacture of
Broadband over Power Line Regenerating Unit (BRU) smart boxes. About the size
of an ordinary desktop computer tower, these boxes are attached to a common
electric utility pole and activate to provide high-speed Internet signals to
households that previously had only limited or dial-up access to the Internet.
Under the agreement, IBM Global Financing will purchase IBEC invoices from DS2
and provide extended payment terms to IBEC.

“IBM Global Financing is proud to play a part in the financing of smart
projects that lead to eventual economic recovery,” said John Callies, general
manager of IBM Global Financing, Worldwide. “Spurring investments in
communications and information technology infrastructure like Broadband over
Power Lines can not only provide a boost to the U.S. economy, but also lay the
groundwork for long-term economic growth and significant improvement in
Americans’ quality of life.”

IBEC also benefits from funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Rural Utilities Service (USDA RUS), which has this year been bolstered by
additional funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
This economic stimulus law signed by President Barack Obama included $2.5
billion for the Agriculture Department to expand broadband service in rural
America. Helping rural communities access high-speed Internet is an important
stimulus opportunity for the U.S. economy.  Recently, IBM Global Financing
announced a stimulus financing program for smart technology projects. IBM has
estimated that in one year, a $10 billion investment in broadband networks
will support an estimated 498,000 new U.S. jobs.

IBM Global Business Services is already responsible for deploying thousands of
these BRU smart boxes on utility poles across several states.  Computer users
are able to access the Internet at broadband speeds with a simple BPL modem
that plugs into their household electrical socket.  IBM Global Business
Services recently signed a $10 million services deal with IBEC.

“IBEC is excited by this arrangement with IBM Global Financing which will
support our efforts to provide broadband Internet access to rural Americans
who otherwise would have no path to this indispensable resource,” said Scott
E. Lee, IBEC CEO.  “At IBEC, we recognize that all Americans, including those
in rural America, want and need this service.  IBM Global Financing’s
financing helps ensure they will have it sooner and more economically than
would be possible without their participation.”

Growing businesses often benefit from financing lines to push forward smart
and innovative technology projects and bridge the time period between the
delivery of goods and payment. IBM Global Financing can help well-qualified
small businesses get paid earlier and bolster their business cycle.

“We are delighted with this relationship. It supports two growing companies
like IBEC and DS2 to fund gigantic growth,” said Jorge Blasco, DS2 President
and CEO. “IBM Global Financing is playing a role that traditional banks are
reluctant to play due to limited knowledge of the Smart Grid business and
today’s liquidity problems.”

“Broadband over Power Line clearly is one of the technologies that should be
included as part of the effort to expand broadband services to un-served and
underserved markets in the U.S.,” said Vince Vittore, Principal Analyst,
Yankee Group. “This jump start in financing by IBM Global Financing is exactly
the type of effort that will allow BPL to be an integral part of bringing the
benefits of broadband to consumers and businesses that have been left out of
the most important communications trend of the last decade.”

Today, access to broadband service can make a huge difference in the lives of
many.  It can help rural communities link to tele-medicine, health, IT,
education, and other capabilities that could further boost business and
innovation.

About IBEC

IBEC, Inc. is a full-service provider of Broadband over Power Line Internet
access products, solutions and services, electric utility SmartGrid
communication and integration solutions, and powerline-based security systems.
Focused on meeting the broadband needs of rural and underserved America, IBEC
is the leading provider of Broadband over Power Line solutions to rural
electric utilities and their consumers.  For more information, contact IBEC at
285 Dunlop Boulevard SW, Suite K, Huntsville, AL 35824-1103 USA, 256.492.1000,
256.456.1406 fax, or via email at Marketing@ibec.net. On the Internet, visit
IBEC at http://www.ibec.net and http://www.bpl.coop. IBEC – EmPOWERing the
World’s Broadband(R)

About IBM

For more information, please visit http://www.ibm.com/financing.

About DS2

For more information, please visit: http://www.ds2.es

Contact:
Fred Clarke,
IBM Communications
fredc@us.ibm.com
914-715-5986

SOURCE  IBM

Fred Clarke, IBM Communications, fredc@us.ibm.com, +1-914-715-5986
© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

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