Lightower Fiber Acquires DataNet Communications Group and

March 06, 2007

Expands Network throughout Northeast and Establishes Trans-Atlantic Connection

Lightower Fiber, LLC, a leading provider of digital fiber optic networks, announced today that it will acquire 100 percent of the outstanding shares of DataNet Communications Group, Inc. (“DataNet”).  It has also entered into an agreement to acquire KeySpan Communications (“KeySpan Comm”), expanding the company’s fiber optic network offerings throughout the Northeast.  With the addition of DataNet and KeySpan Communications’ fiber assets, Lightower Fiber more than triples its available route miles.

“With the recent establishment of Lightower Fiber as a unique entity, we are pleased that execution of our growth strategy is already well underway,” said Doug Wiest, CEO of Lightower, LLC.  “The combined network of DataNet and KeySpan Communications is an excellent geographic complement to ours, and we are well-positioned to take advantage of the market opportunity for fiber assets and backhaul services.”

The consolidation of assets will extend Lightower Fiber’s network availability to over 3,600 route miles connecting Boston, Albany, Manhattan and Providence.  Customers will benefit from DataNet’s 1,600 route miles throughout New York State’s Hudson Valley region including service to communities in New Jersey and Connecticut and KeySpan Comm’s 1,000 route miles throughout New York City and Long Island, where the network covers both Suffolk and Nassau Counties.  This extensive fiber network footprint now reaches key routes in Orange, Westchester and Rockland Counties in NY, Bergen County, NJ and Fairfield County, CT. 

Lightower Fiber will also receive the rights to capacity in KeySpan Comm’s three Trans-Atlantic cable systems from New York to Paris and London.  With the addition of KeySpan Comm’s network, Lightower Fiber will offer unique fiber optic links between the Trans-Atlantic landing stations and points outside of New York City using routes diverse from Manhattan.

“The acquisitions of DataNet and KeySpan Communications build on our already well-established fiber network and solidify our footprint in the Northeast,” said Rob Shanahan, CEO of Lightower Fiber.  “By connecting the three networks, Lightower Fiber is able to provide quicker, more flexible, comprehensive dark fiber and Ethernet backhaul services across a larger multi-state territory to wireless and telecommunications carriers, as well as our enterprise customers across the Northeast.”

“We are excited to join forces with Lightower Fiber,” said John Pinto, COO of DataNet Communications.  “We share a common business philosophy that makes us well-suited to become a substantial force in this industry, enabling us to better support the comprehensive needs of enterprise, telecommunications and wireless customers in the communities we serve.”

Lightower Fiber has completed the acquisition of DataNet Communications and expects to complete regulatory approval for KeySpan Comm in Q2 2008.

For more information please contact:
Cristin Brown
Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications
(617) 443-9933 x335
cbrown@rasky.com

Lightower Fiber LLC

Lightower Fiber LLC is the dark fiber leader in the Northeast, offering over 1,100 route miles coupled with comprehensive backhaul services. Lightower Fiber’s geographic footprint extends from southern New Hampshire to Massachusetts and Rhode Island, to eastern New York State. Lightower Fiber is headquartered in Boxborough, MA.

DataNet Communications

DataNet Communications Group, Inc. is a leading facilities-based provider of native Ethernet and SONET-based services.  Founded in 1999, the company constructed its own fault tolerant, highly reliable fiber optic network to serve the needs of both enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Hudson Valley region of New York.  In recent years the company has expanded its fiber optic network to surrounding areas in New Jersey & Connecticut, further enabling the delivery of advanced broadband services.  DataNet is headquartered in Newburgh, NY.

KeySpan Communications

KeySpan Communications is the owner, operator and developer of a high-speed fiber optic network - covering 1,000-route miles or 75,000 fiber miles - that transverses Long Island and part of New York City. The network has several access points to Trans-Atlantic cable systems that run between Long Island, London and Paris.
 

M/C Venture Partners

M/C Venture Partners is a venture capital firm focused exclusively on the communications, media, and information technology sectors. The firm has invested over $1.8 billion into nearly 80 companies in those sectors. Companies the firm has backed include MetroPCS, Cavalier Telephone, TeleCorp PCS, Triad Cellular, Western Wireless, Crowley Cellular, and Brooks Fiber. The firm has strong institutional backing from the nation’s leading pension funds and endowments as well as a long track record of success. M/C Venture Partners has offices in Boston and San Francisco.

Wachovia Capital Partners

Wachovia Capital Partners (WCP) is the private equity investing arm of Wachovia Corporation, the fourth largest bank holding company in the U.S. Since the group’s inception in 1988, WCP has invested in excess of $3.5 billion of private equity capital on behalf of Wachovia. WCP’s current investment portfolio is comprised of 43 companies representing roughly $1.4 billion in invested capital. WCP is currently investing out of WCP II, L.P., a $1.8 billion fund. Companies the firm has backed include: Inflow, Inc., Affinity, NuVox Communications, Triton PCS, and MetroPCS.