Verizon Wireless Presents $20,000 Grant to Catalyst for Advancing Technology Among Birmingham Young Professionals

Grant Presented with Verizon Wireless’ Launch of High-Speed Wireless Broadband Network in Birmingham; Takes Catalyst “Hip to Be Civic” Campaign to Streets

BIRMINGHAM, AL (5 September 2006) – Verizon Wireless announced today a $20,000 grant to Catalyst as part of the August 31 launch of Verizon Wireless’ Broadband Network in Birmingham. The grant will allow Catalyst, a group of emerging young professionals in Birmingham, to incorporate technology into its “Hip to be Civic” campaign by conducting large-scale urban games as a way to recruit new members to Catalyst and raise the awareness of Birmingham as tech-savvy community for businesses and young professionals.

During three weekends in September, Catalyst, with the help of its technology partner TechBirmingham, will stage two large-scale urban games during festivals in Birmingham and one in New York City. The two Birmingham-based events will be used to recruit young professionals in the city to join the Catalyst’s efforts to improve quality of life, celebrate diversity, and encourage sustainable development and urban revitalization and much more. The New York event will focus on bringing national awareness to Birmingham’s tech-literate community.

The urban games leverage the Verizon Wireless EV-DO broadband network as competing teams use instant messaging, picture messaging and other wireless services to determine locations and act out challenges based on scenarios given by game officials.

“Catalyst is proud to receive the Verizon Wireless grant as part of our ‘Hip to be Civic’ campaign,” said Cherie Fields, director of Catalyst. “We believe this use of technology will be a fun way of generating buzz among young professionals not only in Birmingham, but also on a national scale with the help of the New York event,” she said.

“We are thrilled to present Catalyst with the Verizon Wireless grant to support their efforts to raise awareness of technology in the Birmingham area,” said Jim McGean – president of Verizon Wireless Alabama/Georgia region. “An important part of our business philosophy is giving back to the local community. The Catalyst program not only gives us the opportunity to do just that but it gives the local community the chance to experience our broadband network in a unique way and it demonstrates how technology supports our daily life socially, recreationally and professionally.”

BroadbandAccess is Verizon Wireless’ high-speed wireless broadband network geared toward mobile professionals and business customers. It provides average access speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps). The service gives customers the ability to connect to the Internet using a PC card that slides directly into most laptop computers and enables a download of a 1 Megabyte e-mail attachment (the equivalent of a small PowerPoint presentation or a large PDF file) in about 20 seconds.

 

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