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iiNet plans massive public Wi-Fi network Featured

Perth based telco iiNet is planning to build a Wi-Fi network in all Australia’s major capitals, similar to the network its subsidiary Internode is already deploying in Adelaide.

The company is planning up to 30,000 Wi-Fi access points in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with other cities to follow.

The Adelaide network is largely being funded by the SA Government and Adelaide City Council. iiNet has not announced the business model for other cities, but it is likely that it will offer free access for casual and light users, and charge heavier users a fee. If speeds are reasonable, it will offer an alternative to existing wired Internet services from Telstra, Optus and others.

The Adelaide network uses more than 200 Cisco outdoor wireless access points at locations throughout the CBD, providing free wireless coverage for about 97% of the northern CBD. There is also extensive external coverage for the less built up southern half of the CBD.

Internode founder Simon Hackett, when announcing the Adelaide network, said free wireless network coverage was an essential piece of urban infrastructure for modern cities.

iiNet, like its archrival TPG, is on a roll. Its revenues last year were up 13% to $941 million, and will break $1 billion this year. It is now included in the Standard & Poor ASX 200 Index.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

 

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