Internode hooks up regional SA after war of WiMax

South Australian ISP Internode has set up a WiMax service to provide broadband access to the Yorke Peninsula region west of Adelaide, but not before its new infrastructure was almost built over.

South Australian ISP Internode has set up a WiMax service to provide broadband access to the Yorke Peninsula region west of Adelaide, but not before its new infrastructure was almost built over.

The ISP implemented the new service in conjunction with the Federal government's Australian Broadband Guarantee initiative, and is now providing access to over 200 customers in the region, many of whom were unable to get broadband previously due to their distance from a telephone exchange.

A network of ten WiMax base stations is used to provide the service, according to Internode, which delivers connections of up to 6Mbps at up to 30km from the tower.

"We ended up with that agreement because we already had a wireless infrastructure," said Kym Cleggett, Internode's rural networks manager.

According to Cleggett, the contract to provide access to the area was originally going to the OPEL consortium -- which was planning to build another set of WiMax-enabled towers -- but was then given to Internode by the Federal government as its infrastructure was already in place.

"None of this is ever free of politics," said Cleggett. "With all of these grants and processes going around for broadband you've got to take that into account, in our case the South Australian government didn't want to see infrastructure that it had partly funded overbuilt straight away, as OPEL had intended to do."

"Common sense was the order of the day really, there was no need to double up on infrastructure like that," he said.

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