VCs Put $20 Million into Rural WiMAX

DigitalBridge Communications, a provider of WiMAX-based broadband-to-rural communities, announced a $20 million Series B round of financing Monday, showing that some investors believe there might be gold to mine in them thar rural broadband markets. The new funding (which PE Hub says is closer to $23 million) joins the $17 million or so the company had raised previously. DigitalBridge CEO Kelley Dunne, contacted via phone Monday night, said the latest round should let the company “fully fund” its planned rollout to 15 markets, beyond its current list of served communities that includes the Idaho locales of Rexburg and Pocatello, along with Missoula, Mon., and Washington, Ind.
Dunne, a telecom veteran who spent time both at a CLEC and at Verizon, said that capital expenditures for a WiMAX provider today are “about one-tenth” of the costs that a wireline CLEC might need. Combining WiMAX with low-cost fiber agreements and easy-to-install customer-premise gear from Alvarion is a recipe that is already producing cash-flow-positive results in Rexburg, Dunne said.
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