News Release

Getronics Delivers Key Services for Innovative Northland Cable Initiative to Bring high-speed Internet access to Rural Customers

First-of-a-kind cable TV offering includes local ISPs to provide affordable, reliable service
Jul 29, 2002

BILLERICA, Mass., July 29, 2002 - Getronics and Northland Cable Television of Seattle, Wash. today announced the deployment of high-speed Internet service in rural communities that, until now, have not had such service. With a pilot completed in Vidalia, Ga., and high-speed Internet service being implemented in other markets, the service relies on Getronics for system design, installation and support of the Cisco Systems-based IP cable network. Getronics is a global technology services and solutions company (AMSTERDAM: GTN) with U.S. headquarters in Billerica.

Northland teams with local ISPs

Northland overcomes the challenges and expense of offering high-speed Internet access to rural and non-urban communities by teaming with one or more local Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Local Northland management collaborates with select local ISPs to offer high-speed Internet over its cable system.

"This is a winning combination," commented Jack Dyste, senior vice president, technical services at Northland. "The ISPs can offer better service for minimal investment and customers receive fast downloads of information, such as Web pages. They just add a cable modem to their PC in a household that is wired for cable television." Dyste is speaking about Northland's high-speed Internet service at the National Cable Television Cooperative's (NCTC) show, July 29-31, in Orlando, Fla.

NCTC is urging its 1,000 member companies to offer high-speed data services. Mark Bishop, senior vice president of hardware, NCTC said: "Cable operators must offer high-speed Internet access if they are to survive long-term." NCTC, based in Lenexa, Kan., is a not-for-profit purchasing organization for cable operators in the United States.

High-speed Internet access markets

Northland has already completed a test in Vidalia, Ga., in collaboration with ISP, CyberSouth Networks. High-speed Internet access is now available for residents in Vidalia and will be offered to surrounding communities, including Lyons, Higgston, and Santa Claus, Ga. Northland is also offering local ISP access in Forrest City, N.C., which will also use microwave technologies and one-way dial-up return modems to reach outlying areas. Additional installations are underway in Sequim and Port Angeles, Wash., and three other communities are planned before the end of the year.

Rapid deployment with Getronics and Cisco Systems

Northland turned to Getronics due to its nationwide service coverage, deep understanding of Cisco equipment, and expertise in Radio Frequency (RF) technology. For each cable system that implements the high-speed Internet access package, Getronics installs a Cisco uBR7200 cable modem termination system (CMTS) router and Cisco Network Registrar software hosted on a Microsoft Windows 2000-based PC server.

Subscribers need a cable modem that connects their PC to the high-speed ISP network. Both the ISP and Northland provide customer service.

The entire process, from initial engineering design to offering the service to subscribers, takes less than 60 days.

George Blake, president, Advanced Networks Getronics US said: "The beauty is in the simplicity. Getronics handles all of the engineering and installation of the head end equipment so the ISP and Northland's local office have trouble free installations. Within 60 days Northland and its ISP partner can offer their joint subscribers an entirely new service."

Getronics is one of Cisco's certified advanced technology providers for cable. This certification recognizes the company's expertise in cable television and high-speed data networks. Getronics is also a gold certified Cisco partner in the US and more than a dozen other countries.

About Northland

Northland Cable Television, based in Seattle, is a communications company that specializes in providing a variety of quality communications services to meet the needs of consumers and businesses located in small cities and towns. It operates over 80 cable systems in nine states in the southeast, southwest and west that serve more than 225,000 subscribers. Specializing in offering cable services in rural areas, Northland installations typically support 8,000-20,000 subscribers.

About Getronics

With more than 28,000 employees in more than 30 countries, Getronics is one of the world's leading providers of vendor independent solutions and services to professional users of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Through consulting, integrating, implementing and managing Infrastructure Solutions and Business Solutions, Getronics helps many of the world's largest global and local organisations to maximise the value of their technology investment and improve interaction with their customers. Getronics' headquarters is in Amsterdam, with regional head offices in Boston, Singapore and Washington, D.C. Getronics' shares are traded on Euronext Amsterdam ('GTN'). For further information about Getronics, visit

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