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IBM and International Broadband Electric Communications, Inc. Work Together to Connect Rural America
[November 12, 2008]

IBM and International Broadband Electric Communications, Inc. Work Together to Connect Rural America

(Marketwire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ARMONK, NY and HUNTSVILLE, AL, November 12 / MARKET WIRE/ --

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and
International Broadband Electric Communications, Inc. (IBEC) today
announced the signing of a $9.6 million agreement to have IBM install
Broadband over Power Line (BPL) networks at electric cooperatives
throughout the eastern US. IBEC will focus on providing broadband services
to underserved residents in rural America.

Currently, there are over 900 electric cooperatives in the United States
providing 45% of the total electric grid and covering 75% of the land mass
in the U.S. BPL leverages an existing asset, the power lines, to quickly
and inexpensively deploy broadband access. IBM, the first major systems
integrator to enter this market, will provide overall project management,
oversight, and training of the line crews who will be installing the BPL
equipment. IBEC, the leader in bringing broadband to rural America, will
provide the BPL technology and equipment and serve as the Internet Service
Provider (ISP) to these rural residents.

"Americans in rural areas of the country trail their urban and suburban
counterparts in broadband availability," noted Scott Lee, CEO of IBEC, in
making this announcement. "This capability will play a critical role in
rural health, education, and economic development, while closing the
digital divide that exists between well served and underserved America."

"This partnership leverages the deep communications and project management
expertise of IBM with the market presence and position of IBEC in the rural
electric cooperatives to accelerate the deployment of broadband services in
these underserved areas," said Raymond Blair, Director of Advanced Networks
at IBM. "High-speed Internet service is revolutionizing the way we do
business, and access to this resource will generate great opportunities for
rural America."

Bill Moroney, President & CEO of the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC),
noted, "This announcement represents a major step forward in bringing
broadband services to the residents of rural America. This is a key
development in the growth and availability of high-speed Broadband over
Power Line Internet services and widespread availability of critical
SmartGrid applications in the United States, and I applaud IBEC and IBM for
their accomplishments in this area." The UTC is an international
organization representing the critical infrastructure communications needs
of investor-owned (IOU), municipal, and cooperative (Co-op) electric, gas,
and water utilities worldwide.

While focusing initially on bringing broadband Internet services to rural

America, this new service will also enhance the ability of electric
utilities to monitor, manage, and control the reliability of their electric
grid and further optimize the capabilities of IBEC as well as rural
electric utilities in broadening the offerings available to consumers. The
deal is the first of its kind to deploy BPL technology in the electric
cooperatives.

About IBEC


IBEC, Inc. is a full-service provider of Broadband over Power Line
Internet access solutions and services, electric utility SmartGrid
management and control solutions, and powerline-based security
systems. Focused on meeting the broadband needs of rural and underserved
America, IBEC is the leading provider of Broadband over Power Line
solutions to rural electric utilities and their consumers. For more
information, contact IBEC at 285 Dunlop Boulevard SW, Suite K, Huntsville,
AL 35824-1103 USA, 256.492.1000, 256.456.1406 fax, or via email at
Marketing @ibec.net. On the Internet, visit IBEC at www.ibec.net and
www.bpl.coop.

IBEC - EmPOWERing the World's Broadband?

About IBM

For more information, please visit www.ibm.com/services

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Contact:
Aliza Fischer
IBM Media Relations
917-472-3721afische@us.ibm.com

Copyright ? 2008 Marketwire

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