CINCINNATI, August 9, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) — ACcess Broadband LLC has been selected as the name for the joint venture formed by Cinergy Broadband, LLC, an affiliate of Cinergy Corp., and Current Communications Group, LLC to market broadband over powerline (BPL) technology exclusively to municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives.
“ACcess Broadband will provide municipal electric systems and rural electric cooperatives with a proven end-to-end enterprise system that can meet the information technology needs of their customers and their utility today and in the future, while providing a valuable new source of revenue for the utility,” said William J. Grealis, executive vice president of Cinergy.
In addition, Michael J. Pristas, an industry veteran with 29 years of experience in the energy information and power industries, has been hired as senior vice president, business development for ACcess Broadband and will manage its marketing and business development activities. Most recently, Pristas was vice president, utility solutions business for the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) in Herndon, Virginia. His previous industry experience includes Power Measurement, Square D, Marriott, Honeywell and Westinghouse.
“The name ACcess Broadband was chosen because it exemplifies the availability of high speed access to the Internet for the muni and co-op marketplace provided by Current’s BPL system. The ‘AC’ designation is an electric industry acronym that references alternating current and the wires that serve as the carrier for the BPL signal,” explained Pristas.
The municipal and rural electric market represents a potential in excess of 25 million customer accounts for BPL. “ACcess Broadband’s primary objective is to provide the means to connect these utilities and their customers to the world,” he added. “ACcess Broadband initially will target those utilities with the critical mass, account density and necessary communications infrastructure to facilitate immediate deployment.”
For the end user, Current Technologies(TM) BPL system offers:
*”Always on” high speed Internet access from power outlets throughout the home or business
*Upload and download access at the same speeds using readily available, off-the-shelf HomePlug® power line modems
*Local area networking from all power outlets over existing electrical wiring
*Faster speeds (in excess of 3 mbps) at lower monthly cost than other broadband services
*Multiple speeds and pricing plans to meet individual needs and budgets
*Truly “Plug and Play” installation and activation within minutes
Voice over IP, streaming video and gaming capabilities
Current’s BPL technology will also be offered by ACcess Broadband to implement important new utility related services that will provide improved reliability and increased efficiency for the municipal utilities and coops, including:
* Automated outage detection and restoration confirmation
* Remote monitoring and operation of switches and transformers
*Remote capability to connect and disconnect electric service
*More efficient demand-side management programs
Automated meter reading.
Managers of municipal electric systems and rural electric cooperatives can find more information about the services available to them at http://www.accessbroadband.com or by calling 1-800-457-8060.
Cinergy Corp. has a balanced, integrated portfolio consisting of two core businesses: regulated operations and energy merchant. Cinergy’s regulated delivery operations in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky serve 1.5 million electric customers and about 500,000 gas customers. In addition, its Indiana regulated operations own 7,000 megawatts of generation. Cinergy’s energy merchant business is a Midwest leader in low-cost generation owning 6,300 megawatts of capacity with a profitable balance of stable existing customer portfolios, new customer origination, marketing and trading, and industrial-site cogeneration.
Current Communications Group, LLC is a privately held company based in Germantown, Maryland. Current develops innovative power line equipment and technology for delivering broadband services over power lines. Current is backed by Liberty Associated Partners, LP, Enertech Capital and Cinergy. Liberty Associated Partners is a private investment fund focusing on private equity investments in telecommunications, media, Internet and related technology companies and is managed by the Associated Group, LLC. Enertech Capital is a private equity firm that invests exclusively in service and technology companies emerging from and capitalizing on the reshaping of the energy, utility, and telecommunications markets. Many of the investors in Enertech Capital’s funds are major U.S. and international utilities.