National Grid launches U.S. wireless telecommunications subsidiary

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., May 13, 2003 — National Grid announced that it has launched Gridcom, a new U.S. telecommunications infrastructure subsidiary focused on the Northeast region.

Gridcom provides complete wireless network infrastructure solutions including the associated turnkey services – engineering, construction, and maintenance. Gridcom will build and own wireless communication towers, acquire existing tower assets, and also help wireless phone providers locate their network equipment on National Grid’s electricity transmission facilities, which consists of thousands of towers.

National Grid has named Doug Wiest president and chief executive officer of Gridcom. Prior to joining Gridcom, Wiest was chief operating officer at American Tower, where he was responsible for leasing space and managing equipment on more than 14,000 towers across the U.S. Wiest also ran an American Tower division that provided broad infrastructure support services to U.S. telecommunications operations. He previously held senior posts with Nextel Communications and McCaw Communications.

“Gridcom offers advantages to U.S. wireless companies that they can’t get elsewhere,” explained Wiest. “Gridcom started first in the U.K. two years ago and already has 1300 active towers and sites serving some of the biggest wireless providers in Europe. We have the financial strength of our parent company, National Grid Transco, which assists our ability to serve customers for the long run, and we are assembling a management team with deep experience in the telecommunications sector. Finally, we are an unregulated business, able to move quickly in responding to customer needs.”

National Grid’s other U.S. telecommunications subsidiary, NEESCom, is now being managed by Gridcom. NEESCom provides dark fiber optic capacity for high-speed voice, data and Internet, as well as related services to businesses, telephone companies and wireless telecommunications providers.

“Managing NEESCom and Gridcom as one business enables us to provide customers with a complete range of infrastructure services, and fiber optic network solutions. We are confident that we will create value by using our expanded skills to provide support for complex networks,” said Wiest.

“This is the ideal time to launch Gridcom,” commented Wiest, “because wireless providers are looking for ways to reduce costs, eliminate coverage gaps, and outsource non-core activities. We’re perfectly positioned as a strategic partner on all counts.”

Gridcom, headquartered in Westborough, Mass., is a subsidiary of National Grid USA. Its affiliate, Gridcom UK Ltd, is a leading provider of telecommunications infrastructure in the U.K. Gridcom UK’s customers include Hutchison, Orange, O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

National Grid USA’s core business is the transmission and distribution of electricity and natural gas. National Grid USA is a subsidiary of National Grid Transco, an international energy delivery business with principal activities in the regulated electric and gas industries.

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