No sale: iBurst network to shut down

The iBurst wireless broadband network owned by failed Australian ICT products and services firm Commander would be shut down by 19 December, according to a failed bidder for the network.

The iBurst wireless broadband network owned by failed Australian ICT products and services firm Commander would be shut down by 19 December, according to a failed bidder for the network.

Wireless internet provider BigAir, which had put in a bid to buy the network built by Personal Broadband Australia, yesterday said it had been advised by Commander's receivers, McGrathNicol, about the failure of its bid.

"The company has also been advised by the receivers that they intend to discontinue providing iBurst services and the network will be shut down and closed no later than December 19, 2008," said Big Air in a statement.

The closure has the potential to leave a number of Australian ISPs in the lurch, as iBurst primarily operated through a wholesale model where its services were re-branded and on-sold by others.

It remains unclear just how many customers were using the network, with 3G mobile broadband having caught up with iBurst speeds and started offering improved coverage over the past few years.

BigAir noted it was actively negotiating with a number of competing wirless broadband players to migrate its own iBurst customers to other services.

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