Market Overview

Ting Acquires Majority Stake in Blue Ridge InternetWorks, Expands From Mobile to Fixed Internet Access


Ting Fiber, Inc. ("TFI"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tucows Inc. (Nasdaq: TCX) (TSX:TC), announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 70% ownership of an independent Internet service provider in Charlottesville, Virginia doing business primarily as Blue Ridge InternetWorks ("BRI").

ting logo

BRI provides high speed Internet access, Internet hosting and network consulting services to over 3,000 customers in Central Virginia.

Ting ( disrupted the mobile industry with its launch in 2012, offering shockingly fair pricing, usable interfaces and no-hold, no-transfer live customer support. This acquisition signals an ambition to bring the same sort of sanity and innovation to the cable industry.

"The expansion from mobile to fixed access is almost obvious for us," explained Tucows CEO Elliot Noss. "The only customers in the world more starved for great service and fair pricing than mobile phone customers are cable customers. They deserve that."

"But we have an opportunity with BRI in Charlottesville to offer even more than great service at a low price. The step up to gigabit, or ultra high-speed, access is profound," continued Mr. Noss. "It can change the way people use and enjoy the Internet. It can help attract and grow businesses and transform a community."

"There is a wonderful movement going on. Towns are excited about the potential of fiber and they are lobbying for it. So far, these build-outs have mostly been 'side projects' for industry giants. I think we can prove there is enough demand and profit to make it work absolutely anywhere and to attract and sustain smaller, more customer-focused providers like us. It's an exciting experiment."

Jeff Cornejo, co-founder of BRI, echoed this enthusiasm. "For almost fifteen years, we have provided a wonderful, service-driven alternative to big guys like Comcast and CenturyLink. But to do what we want to do, to give Charlottesville the fastest, best Internet access in the country, we needed some more muscle. Ting gives us the capital and the technical capabilities we need without compromising our focus on customer relationships."

Mr. Noss concluded, "For shareholders, this is a rare opportunity. In one deal, we get customers, revenue, prospects, infrastructure and a wealth of fiber expertise. We get an inside track on a game changing technology."

TFI will acquire 70% of the newly formed Ting Virginia LLC and its acquired subsidiaries, Blue Ridge Websoft LLC (doing business as Blue Ridge InternetWorks), Fiber Roads, LLC and Navigator Network Services, LLC (the "BRI Group"). The remaining 30% interest in Ting Virginia LLC, which is subject to certain Call and Put Options, will be retained by the current owners of the BRI Group. The founders of the BRI Group will remain with the company. The price and terms of the acquisition were not announced. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015.

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