Press Release

Liberty Satellite, Intelsat, and NRTC Lead $156 Million Investment in Wildblue

By SpaceRef Editor
December 24, 2002
Filed under , ,

WildBlue Funded Through 2004 Launch of Affordable Satellite Broadband Service

WildBlue Communications
today announced that Liberty Satellite & Technology, Inc. (LSAT), Intelsat, National Rural Telecommunications
Cooperative (NRTC), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and David
Drucker, WildBlue’s chairman, have agreed to invest $156 million in
the company.

Liberty Satellite, Kleiner Perkins and David Drucker are existing
shareholders. Intelsat and NRTC are new investors in WildBlue and will
join the board of directors as part of this investment. This
transaction is subject to WildBlue meeting certain conditions,
including FCC approvals. WildBlue expects the investment to close in
the second quarter of 2003.

“This large investment in WildBlue, in the face of tough financial
markets, is a strong endorsement of WildBlue’s business model and
ability to revolutionize wireless broadband. WildBlue will change the
consumer broadband market making affordable high-speed Internet access
available to virtually every home and small business in the contiguous
United States,” said Thomas Moore, chief executive officer of
WildBlue. “When this transaction closes, we will be able to complete
our investment in the space and ground infrastructure to allow us to
launch our service in 2004.”

WildBlue will deliver affordable two-way wireless broadband
services via satellite, direct to homes and small offices, throughout
the contiguous United States in 2004. WildBlue is expected to be the
first to launch the Ka-band spot beam satellite technology designed to
lower the cost of providing consumers high-speed Internet access via
satellite. The WildBlue system also will leverage proven terrestrial
cable modem technology, resulting in lower customer equipment and
installation costs, a critical requirement in satellite-based consumer
services. WildBlue’s service should be especially appealing to the
millions of homes and small offices that lack access to DSL or cable
modem service.

WildBlue initially will offer its services using its license for
the U.S. Ka-band payload aboard Telesat Canada’s Anik F2 satellite,
being built by Boeing and scheduled to launch in late 2003 into the
111.1 degrees WL orbital location. Based on future financing, WildBlue
plans to subsequently launch its own satellite, WildBlue-1, being
manufactured by Loral Space Systems, into WildBlue’s 109.2 degrees WL
orbital location. Andrew Corporation has been contracted to construct
WildBlue’s earth gateways.

“We believe that retail satellite broadband services in North
America will be an important component of future growth in the fixed
satellite services industry,” said Conny Kullman, CEO of Intelsat,
Ltd. “Millions of rural residents and small offices have no access to
high-quality, affordable broadband service comparable to that
available in urban areas. We have great confidence in WildBlue’s
strategic plan and believe it represents a key opportunity for
Intelsat to capitalize on this market gap.”

“NRTC is making this investment in a technology platform to serve
rural America with advanced telecommunication services,” said Bob
Phillips, NRTC president and chief executive officer. “We are
confident that WildBlue is the best solution to deliver affordable
high-speed Internet access to rural America. A solid and loyal
distribution network will be key to a successful WildBlue rollout. And
we are pleased to bring the proven experience of our rural electric
and telco members in distributing satellite-delivered services to this

“Intelsat, Liberty Satellite, and NRTC are three of the most
important strategic relationships we could have chosen. WildBlue is
especially pleased to strengthen our partnership with existing
investor Liberty Satellite, and to begin our relationships with
Intelsat, the world’s premier satellite services provider, and NRTC,
the foremost distribution partner for rural America,” said Thomas
Moore, WildBlue CEO.

Intelsat offers telephony, corporate network, video and Internet
solutions in approximately 200 countries via capacity on 25
geosynchronous satellites and a global teleport network. Liberty
Satellite pursues strategic opportunities worldwide in the
distribution of Internet data and other content via satellite and
related businesses. NRTC supports more than 1,000 rural utilities in
delivering telecommunications and information technology solutions to
their communities. Kleiner Perkins is a leading venture capital
partnership. David Drucker is the chairman of WildBlue and is making
his investment as an individual.

In addition to the new investors, WildBlue’s strategic investors
include TeleSat (; EchoStar (; Gemstar
– TV Guide (; TRW (; and Arianespace

About Liberty Satellite & Technology, Inc.

Liberty Satellite and Technology, Inc., known as LSAT, pursues
strategic opportunities worldwide in the distribution of Internet data
and other content via satellite and related businesses. Through its
majority-owned subsidiary, On Command Corporation, LSAT is a leading
provider of in-room movies, broadband access and other entertainment
and business services to the hotel industry. LSAT also holds strategic
ownership positions in a range of video programming,
satellite-delivered broadband distribution and satellite communication
businesses, including Wildblue Communications, Astrolink
International, and Sky Latin America. LSAT is a consolidated
subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation.

About Intelsat (

Intelsat, Ltd. offers telephony, corporate network, video and
Internet solutions around the globe via capacity on 25 geosynchronous
satellites in prime orbital locations. Customers in approximately 200
countries rely on Intelsat satellites and ground resources for quality
connections, global reach and reliability.

About the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative

NRTC supports more than 1,000 rural utilities in delivering
telecommunications and information technology solutions to their
communities. NRTC’s members and affiliates provide direct broadcast
satellite (DBS) equipment and DIRECTV programming services to more
than 1.7 million subscribers. NRTC is the largest provider of
satellite television to rural homes, including households with no
other television access to information and entertainment. NRTC also
provides members Ku-band satellite Internet equipment and services for
high-speed access to the Internet, regardless of location.

About David Drucker

David Drucker is chairman of WildBlue Communications. He is also
the majority shareholder of @Contact LLC, an applicant for a global
Ka-band satellite constellation (

About WildBlue (

WildBlue plans to roll out affordable broadband services via
satellite direct to homes and small offices throughout the contiguous
United States in 2004. WildBlue was founded to accelerate consumer
broadband access to the Internet. WildBlue’s solution intends to
deliver on consumer desires for a fast, affordable, simple, reliable,
always-on and two-way technology for wireless Internet access.

SpaceRef staff editor.