Axia Selected to Operate Massachusetts Broadband Institute Network

CALGARY, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - Axia NGNetworks USA (Axia), a wholly owned subsidiary of Axia NetMedia Corporation, today announced it has signed a ten year extendable agreement to be the Network Operator for the MassBroadband 123 fibre network, spearheaded by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI), a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), an independent public agency dedicated to the formation, retention, and expansion of technology-related enterprises in Massachusetts.

MassBroadband 123 will include 1,338 miles of fibre backhaul infrastructure and electronics connecting more than 120 communities in western and north central Massachusetts and will initially connect approximately 1,400 government institutions.  MassBroadband 123 will serve as comprehensive middle-mile open access Next Generation Network (NGN) infrastructure for western and north central Massachusetts, allowing for extensions to connect directly to premises and providing backhaul connectivity to a global gateway in Boston.  Axia will be responsible for operating the MassBroadband 123 network including the provision of wholesale Real BroadbandTM and support services to Retail Service Providers (RSPs).The MTC will own the MassBroadband 123 network and is responsible for its design and construction, which is expected to be completed by June 2013.

"Bringing broadband connectivity to western Massachusetts is a top priority for the Patrick-Murray Administration and today's announcement brings us another step closer to reaching our goal," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. "By working with our partners in industry and government, we are leveraging new private investment that will improve the region's competitiveness, create jobs, strengthen our schools and enhance public safety."

"This is a critical step toward extending broadband access and bridging the digital divide," said MBI Director Judith Dumont. "Axia's expertise in successfully developing broadband networks will help us deploy high-speed Internet services to residents and businesses that have been unconnected for too long."

Art Price, Chairman and CEO commented, "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the MBI have demonstrated their forward thinking by bringing NGN infrastructure to western Massachusetts.  While this network build receives substantial United States federal stimulus funding, one of the key reasons that Axia is interested in this opportunity is the commercial and strategic commitment of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in its own right.  We look forward to working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to ensure that when completed, MassBroadband 123 will enable the provision of web services for residents, businesses and government throughout the region."

As Operator of the MassBroadband 123 network, Axia will offer wholesale services to RSPs using its proven, open access, "do not compete with your customer" approach. This fundamental digital economy infrastructure will spur investment by RSPs and generate economic growth in the region.  Axia will invest in the ongoing operations and in providing fibre optic connections to the network in response to market demand.  The combination of these two activities over the life of the contract is expected to be in the range of US$30 million to US$45 million.

Murray Sigler, President of Axia North America added, "We are delighted to be supporting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' broadband initiative and welcome this opportunity to establish a business in the United States as part of a long-term partnership.  Axia will be opening an office in Massachusetts.  This is our first NGN in the United States and we are excited about building our business with Massachusetts as our United States base of operations."

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute is working to extend affordable high-speed Internet access to all homes, businesses, schools, libraries, medical facilities, government offices and other public places across the Commonwealth. Governor Patrick created the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, when he signed the Broadband Act into law in August 2008. The Act gives the MBI the authority to invest up to US$40 million of state bond funds in necessary and long-lived infrastructure assets, such as conduits, fibre-optic cable and wireless towers. www.massbroadband.org

Axia sells Real Broadband™ and passive services on Next Generation Networks that have implemented the Axia NGN Solution. To date, the Axia NGN Solution has been successfully implemented in Alberta, France, Singapore and Spain. Axia trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "AXX".

This News Release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements containing the words "should", "believe", "anticipate", "may", "plan", "will", "continue", "intend", "expect", "estimate" and other similar expressions which constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws.  These statements are based on our current expectations, estimates, forecasts and assumptions about the operating environment, economies and markets in which we operate and are subject to important assumptions, risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict.  Examples of these statements would include those where Axia forecasts its success and timing in winning new NGN business, the timing of completion and estimated total costs of our networks, the revenues and operating costs associated with these networks over time, and Axia's ability to generate future cash flows and avail itself of other financing alternatives given current market conditions.  The assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, include, but are not limited to, changes in customer markets, changes in demand for our services, our inability to deliver services in a timely and cost efficient manner, technological change, general economic conditions and other risks detailed from time to time in our ongoing filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, including those in our Annual Information Form, which filings can be found at www.sedar.com.  Given these assumptions, risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.  Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements either as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Axia NetMedia Corporation

For further information:

please visit Axia's website at www.axia.com, or contact:
Dawn Tinling
VP, Investor Relations and Communications
Axia NetMedia Corporation
(403) 538-4074
dawn.tinling@axia.com

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