iTown taps Black & Veatch, Yankee Group to evaluate networks for West Virginia broadband initiative

July 27, 2005 Charleston, WV -- iTown Communications has engaged Black & Veatch and The Yankee Group to serve as independent consultants for network feasibility studies on all communities participating in iTown's "West Virginia First" advanced broadband project.

Jul 27th, 2005

July 27, 2005 Charleston, WV -- iTown Communications, an advanced broadband communications company focused on America's smaller communities, has engaged Black & Veatch, a global engineering, consulting, and construction company, and The Yankee Group, an international telecommunications market research and industry analysis company, to serve as independent consultants for network feasibility studies on all communities participating in iTown's "West Virginia First" advanced broadband project.

For the project, iTown's Local Community Public-Use Network (LCPN) will provide ultra-high capacity broadband capabilities for cities, towns, and counties across West Virginia. The company says its LCPN serves homes, businesses, government agencies, and educational and other institutions; any company providing Internet, video, telephone, or data services can use the network to serve their customers.

The first feasibility study is for an LCPN serving the City of Beckley, Raleigh County, and Fayette County, West Virginia. Results are expected before the end of the summer.

"We are extremely pleased to have Black & Veatch and The Yankee Group evaluating iTown's approach. Their expertise and integrity are highly regarded worldwide," comments Keith Montgomery, iTown's CEO and President.

The consultant team is to complete a detailed engineering review, and to conduct market surveys and other research. The team will evaluate the expected financial performance of the LCPN for each participating community, and document its own conclusions about the viability of each LCPN in iTown's West Virginia First Project. Financial institutions will use the team's report in their processes for qualifying each LCPN for financing.

"iTown has an innovative approach to bringing to smaller communities the advanced broadband capabilities now being deployed in major metropolitan areas. It has the potential to propel broadband deployment in smaller markets at a rapid pace," remarks Marty Travers, telecommunications division president for Black & Veatch.

"iTown's Project can have a major impact on West Virginia's future," adds Berge Ayvazian, executive vice president for research and consulting at The Yankee Group. "We are eager to conduct research on West Virginia's markets, and evaluate the market potential for LCPNs."

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