June 12, 2006 Reston, VA -- XO Communications today announced a multi-year agreement worth up to $3 million to provide dark fiber to the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC), an organization that is helping to bring advanced open-access broadband services to rural communities in Southside Virginia. The XO fiber will be used to provide broader open-access connectivity for the regional broadband initiative at major points where Internet traffic is exchanged.
Under the terms of the agreement, XO is providing MBC with 800 miles of dark fiber between Atlanta, Richmond, and Washington, DC. MBC will incorporate the dark fiber into its open-access fiber-optic network that will provide high-capacity optical transport services on a wholesale basis to the region. The network will help encourage competition by allowing service providers of all kinds to offer new broadband services. The availability of broadband services is expected to help promote economic growth in the region by allowing communities to better compete for jobs, attract technology-based companies, and retain skilled labor.
"As the largest facilities-based telecommunications company headquartered in Virginia, XO is very pleased to support this very important initiative that is helping to bridge the gap between rural and urban communities," said Carl Grivner, CEO of XO Communications. "Expanding the availability of broadband services makes information and technology more widely available, which helps economic growth in the region and for our nation's economy as a whole."
"MBC is excited about XO's commitment to help our region connect to the global community. MBC will be deploying the latest optical transport equipment on this fiber, which will enable unprecedented access to over 200 regional, national, and international networks," said Tad Deriso, general manager of MBC. "For companies and industries looking to expand their operations to low-cost areas with skilled workforce and access to next-generation infrastructure, this makes Southside Virginia the logical place to do business".
MBC is a not-for-profit cooperative established with funding from the Virginia Tobacco Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce-Economic Development Authority (EDA). The $37 million initiative will connect 20 counties and over 60 business, industrial, and technology parks to service providers who will use the open-access network to provide broadband services across Southside Virginia.