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Affiniti LLC announces Network Management Agreement with Florida Rural Broadband Alliance

Affiniti LLC, a leading broadband services provider that serves rural and under-served communities, today announced it has reached an agreement to provide network management and operations, along with investment capital, that will enable the Florida Rural Broadband Alliance (FRBA) to continue its goal of providing cutting-edge broadband services to public agencies, K-12 schools and rural markets across Florida.

“Affiniti is excited to reach this agreement with FRBA that will move the network from a construction phase to a commercially available status,” said Affiniti CEO Darol Lain. “Affiniti’s core mission aligns nicely with FRBA’s goal of bringing advanced broadband services to rural and under-served markets throughout the state of Florida.”

The Affiniti partnership will enable FRBA to deploy a broadband network in 15 counties in South Central and Northwest Florida to connect schools, health institutions, businesses, local government and public safety agencies in rural areas. FRBA was formed in 2010 between two non-profit economic development organizations: Florida’s Heartland Regional Economic Development Initiative (FHREDI) in South Central Florida and Opportunity Florida in the Northwest region of the state.

Gina Reynolds, CEO of FHREDI, said the agreement provides FRBA a partner that brings not only network operational capability, but a partner who has a long history of delivering broadband services to rural and under-served markets. Jim Brook, Executive Director of Opportunity Florida, added: “This agreement creates immediate benefits for the markets served by Opportunity Florida and FHREDI.”

Affiniti previously entered into a similar agreement with the North Florida Broadband Authority (NFBA), which serves 14 counties in North Central Florida. As the network manager for both operations, Affiniti expects to create synergies that will benefit the two Broadband Technology Opportunities Programs.

Affiniti operates networks that span more than 50,000 square miles in 21 states. The networks serve approximately 850,000 students at 1,000 schools, as well as 45 healthcare institutions.

About Affiniti

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Affiniti LLC is a leading provider of broadband communication and network services to public and private organizations across the United States. Through its middle mile networks, last mile connections and customized network integration solutions, Affiniti provides broadband wide area networking, voice over IP telephony, Internet access, and managed services to schools, hospitals, state and local governments, and private enterprises. For more information, visit www.affiniti.com.

About FRBA

FRBA was formed in March 2010 by two non-profit economic development corporations – FHREDI in South Central Florida and Opportunity Florida in Northwest Florida. FRBA was awarded nearly $24 million through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program to deploy broadband network infrastructure throughout rural communities in 15 Counties. For more information, visit www.weconnectflorida.com

About FHREDI

The mission of Florida's Heartland REDI, Inc. is to market, facilitate and advocate for regional economic development in South Central Florida. Florida's Heartland REDI, Inc. (FHREDI) is a 501(c) 6 nonprofit organization that provides economic development support throughout the South Central region. Partnerships among private and public sector leaders have been fostered to leverage regional assets that provide maximum benefits to the business communities. The regional collaboration links and unites leadership networks, transportation networks and technology networks, signifying the collective economic power behind the 6 Counties of Desoto, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Okeechobee, the Cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay in Palm Beach County and the Community of Immokalee in Collier County. For more information, visit www.flaheartland.com

About Opportunity Florida

Opportunity Florida is a 501(c)6, business recruitment, jobs and economic development organization serving the “Northwest Florida Rural Area of Opportunity.” Based on a commitment to regional unity, Opportunity Florida's purpose is to promote beneficial, economic growth in a nine county region in Northwest Florida by providing technical assistance to economic development organizations and businesses and by working together with local, regional and state organizations to market the region to businesses and government officials. The counties of Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla, and Washington make up the Northwest Florida Rural Area of Opportunity. For more information, visit www.opportunityflorida.com

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