Progress Telecom reaches wireless attachment milestone

ST.PETERSBURG, Fla., March 17, 2003 — Progress Telecom, a broadband services provider, announced it has completed its 300th wireless attachment of a cellular/PCS antenna array to a utility structure–in this case, for Verizon Wireless. Antenna attachments provide services for major wireless carriers, enabling them to activate new cell sites on their networks and enhance their wireless coverage.

The 300th attachment was placed on a Progress Energy utility structure in St. Petersburg, FL. Progress Telecom’s attachments are in some 90 counties in Florida and the Carolinas, on structures owned by Progress Telecom and its sister utilities, Progress Energy Florida and Progress Energy Carolinas. All three companies are subsidiaries of Raleigh-based Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN).

In addition to its core broadband services business, Progress Telecom offers wireless carriers collocation on company infrastructure, capitalizing efficiently on existing assets and real estate. Its tower attachment activity has been among the most aggressive in the utility-owned telecom industry. “We are where wireless carriers want to be,” said George Townsend, general manager of Progress Telecom’s wireless division. “Utilizing existing utility structures for antenna attachments and collocating carriers make good economic and environmental sense.”

Ron Mudry, president and CEO of Progress Telecom, said, “Our wireless carrier customers benefit from the speed-to-market we offer as opposed to the time required to construct a new tower; our company benefits from leveraging its real estate assets–and the community, as a whole, benefits from the non-proliferation of antenna towers on the landscape. It’s a win-win-win solution to meet a growing market demand.”

“Since 1995 we have looked to Progress Telecom, or its sister companies, to design solutions that help us penetrate hard-to-access areas,” said Chuck Hamby, spokesperson for Verizon Wireless. “These solutions bring us to market with exceptional speed and reliability that we can pass on to our end users.”

Progress Telecom offers wireless carriers full infrastructure services, ranging from site identification to architecture, engineering, permitting, and construction. This service provides carriers a turnkey solution and a single point of contact–enabling them to access a virtual ‘one-stop-shop’. In addition, Progress Telecom offers a consulting service to share its broad range of experience with other utility-owned telecoms, coops, and municipalities.

Progress Telecom’s wireless infrastructure division complements its core broadband business by providing wireless backhaul through a fully redundant fiber optic backbone. Progress Telecom picks-up wireless traffic originating from cell sites and aggregates it back to the Local Exchange Carrier’s (LEC) office where it is connected to the wireless carrier’s switch.

Progress Telecom’s long haul network transports traffic between major cities’ wireless switch sites along the East Coast, enabling cost effective mobile-to-mobile and long distance calling. Progress Telecom serves all of the major wireless carriers that are licensed to operate within its footprint.

About Progress Telecom

Founded in 1998, Progress Telecom provides broadband telecommunications and wireless infrastructure services throughout the Eastern United States. Progress Telecom incorporates approximately 135,000 fiber miles and 8,230 route miles in its network including over 165 Points-of-Presence (POPs).

The fiber network serves as the backbone of OC-192 transport that allows customers enhanced data transport capabilities in the Eastern United States from New York to Miami, FL in first, second and third tier growth markets and access to Latin America through its International Gateways.

The network’s utility-based infrastructure also offers fast local loop access through metro fiber rings that move broadband capacity closer to the customer with 10 gigabit dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) technology.

Progress Telecom is owned by Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), a Fortune 250 diversified energy company headquartered in Raleigh, NC, with more than 21,900 megawatts of generation capacity and $8 billion in annual revenues. For more information about Progress Telecom, visit the company’s website at http://www.progresstelecom.com


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