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Wireless broadband provider DigitalBridge Communications snagged $16.5 million in a third round of funding, including $8.5 million in debt. The money will be used to scale the business, which focuses on expanding wireless broadband services to rural areas.

The three-year-old company has established service in 15 markets in Idaho, Indiana, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming and Virginia. It also launched a commercial WiMAX network in Jackson, Wyo. in June, and introduced voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services — similar to Skype — in its existing territories.

BIA Digital Partners and Spring Capital provided the debt funding. The rest came from Paladin Capital Group, RedShift Ventures, CNF Investments and Novak Biddle Venture Partners. Competitors range from Sprint, which is building a nationwide WiMax network, to rural broadband provider Stelera Wireless.

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