Sparkplug Expands and Upgrades Des Moines-Area Network to Meet Continued Growing Demand for High Capacity Business Broadband

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Business customers turn to Sparkplug's fixed wireless service for lower costs, improved performance and flexibility

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Broadband services like these provide an absolutely essential foundation to business growth and success across the area. In my mind, fast, affordable broadband Internet access is as essential to regional commerce as interstates and bridges.

Sparkplug, Inc. , a leading provider of fixed wireless broadband services , today announced that it has upgraded its Des Moines-area network making Sparkplug's affordable high speed broadband available to thousands of businesses in the metropolitan area. Des Moines is one of the country's fastest growing regions with more than 20,000 businesses now established in the metro region.

In 2006, Sparkplug merged with Prairie iNet, an industry pioneer founded in Des Moines in 2000. Sparkplug continues to build on Prairie iNet's strong local legacy with the recent installation of upgraded and expanded high capacity wireless network equipment throughout the Des Moines area and is now poised for continued strong growth with business customers in such industries as insurance, medical and agriculture.

Many businesses find they are straining the limits of legacy wireline service as they adopt new Web-based applications for collaboration, communication and business management. These services require high-speed, business-grade broadband connections that go well beyond traditional T1 services that top out at just 1.5 Mbps. Wireline solutions are often not available in the range above 3 Mbps or are prohibitively expensive. This has become a real challenge for many businesses that require greater capacity and better pricing. As a growing number of Des Moines-area businesses have discovered, Sparkplug's fixed wireless network offers the most cost-effective, flexible and scalable way to stay ahead of their growing bandwidth requirements.

One such business is Hirsh Industries in Urbandale, Iowa. Hirsh, a manufacturing firm with multiple locations, needs highly reliable and cost-effective broadband. "Our existing wired solution ran into a wall, and all the other choices were relatively expensive and inflexible," said Woody Hancock, network engineer at Hirsh. "Sparkplug not only lowers our cost, but also provides higher capacity and easy upgrades when our needs change in the future. In addition, a strong local presence and high quality support team make a big difference in our overall satisfaction."

Greater Metropolitan Des Moines' High Capacity Business Solution

In addition to lower cost and better flexibility, Sparkplug's network delivers a reliable high capacity solution that many Des Moines businesses need to meet their communication requirements. Iowa Digestive Disease Center, a Des Moines-area group of gastroenterologists, is a good example of a business with larger capacity requirements. Companies of all types are turning to digital solutions to increase efficiency and accelerate their businesses processes.

"Sparkplug's high capacity broadband service brings a powerful combination of reliability and scalability to Des Moines that is a great value relative to other broadband services," said Jonathan Schultz of IDDC. "The availability of Sparkplug's business-class service supports our efforts to move more business processes online. It's clear that more business customers will find fixed wireless to be a great choice for their companies. I know it is for IDDC."

Sparkplug has been adding more customers like IDDC in recent months, and expects the wave of high capacity demand to continue. These new customers need all of the benefits of the company's services: highly scalable capacity, easy upgrades and carrier-class reliability.

Steve Den Herder is Vice President of Business Support for Sparkplug. Prior to Prairie iNet's merger with Sparkplug, he was on the senior management team of Prairie iNet. He has been in an ideal position to witness the evolution of business-class broadband in Des Moines. "The growth in underlying business demand for broadband in Des Moines has been very interesting to watch, especially for those of us in the industry," said Den Herder. "Companies of all types, including medical, media and others continue to ask us for high capacity broadband and other services. The upgrade of our network has given us the ability to satisfy these demands as never before. We anticipate sustained business customer growth in the years ahead."

An Iowa Technology Industry Leader

Sparkplug's significant network investment in Des Moines continues the strong economic and infrastructure growth that the leaders of the Greater Des Moines Partnership have witnessed in Des Moines in the last several years. The Partnership is an economic and community development organization serving the greater Des Moines metro area -- a three-county region.

"Sparkplug's success and investment is a great example of how Des Moines' technology sector is expanding and driving innovation to support the overall growth of private industry in the Des Moines metropolitan region and the state," said David Maahs, Executive Vice President of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. "Broadband services like these provide an absolutely essential foundation to business growth and success across the area. In my mind, fast, affordable broadband Internet access is as essential to regional commerce as interstates and bridges."

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is an economic and community development organization serving the Greater Des Moines metro area, covering a three-county region. The Partnership is dedicated to the economic and community development of the entire Greater Des Moines area. Through the consolidation of individual development groups, the Partnership is devoted to making Greater Des Moines a better place to build a business and build a life. For more information, visit http://www.desmoinesmetro.com/.

About Sparkplug

Sparkplug is a leading fixed wireless broadband service provider currently operating networks across five states, including the metropolitan markets of Chicago, Nashville, Des Moines, Phoenix and Las Vegas. The company offers a suite of high-speed data, voice over IP, and other managed services over its own network to business, education and government customers. All enjoy the benefits of fast, scalable and easy-to-deploy broadband service. Customers can choose from a complete range of symmetrical bandwidth service options starting at 2 Mbps with speeds up to 1 Gbps at a fraction of the typical cost. The company also provides high capacity data services and transport to many of the nation's leading telecommunications providers. For more information, visit http://www.sparkplug.net.

Media Contact:
Rob Goodman
McKenzie Worldwide
robg @ mckenzieworldwide.com
(503) 863-2004

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