Internode tries to unwire airports

Internet service provider Internode hopes to start offering free wireless broadband access at airports around the nation, following the launch last year of its first effort at Adelaide Airport.

Internet service provider Internode hopes to start offering free wireless broadband access at airports around the nation, following the launch last year of its first effort at Adelaide Airport.
Internode's Simon Hackett
Internode's Simon Hackett

"With Internode wireless hotspot access operational at Adelaide Airport, we'd love to 'spread our wings' *cough* and offer it at other airports around the country," the ISP's managing director Simon Hackett wrote yesterday in a posting to broadband information site Whirlpool.

The comments come after the Adelaide access went live last year.

"The obvious one to work towards is Sydney Airport, and to that end I've already spent some time talking with appropriate people at Sydney Airport Corporation Limited (SACL) about this," continued Hackett.

The managing director said SACL sold wholesale wireless broadband to both Optus and Telstra at Sydney Airport.

"They [SACL] indicated that they're amenable to considering having Internode as well, but currently they have not seen any real demand from Internode customers to have that access," Hackett said, as he made an appeal for his customers to make themselves heard to SACL.

SACL's wireless access is operational within two of Sydney's three terminals, with the other one being owned and operated by Qantas.

"Given the amount of time I spend in the Qantas Club in Sydney, I'd love to have Node access," wrote one customer on the online forum.

"I just cannot bring myself to spend money on the Telstra wireless, so I bought an iBurst card which works brilliantly."

But Sydney's not the only target for Internode.

"Any airport in which we can reasonably gain access, we'll be happy to do it," Hackett said.

"Yes, that includes major regional airports, if you're wondering -- if we can get DSL there, we can put in a hotspot."

"It's just a question of you helping us to help you -- find out who has the decision-making authority at the airport and tell them to contact us, and we'll do the rest."

While the Adelaide wireless access has been operational for a while, Hackett remains unimpressed with the level of usage. The airport has been plagued by delays -- the latest attributed to the need to clear contaminants from aircraft refuelling lines -- which have pushed back its scheduled opening by several months to mid-February. As traffic at the new facility ramps up, he hopes useage of wireless access does so as well.

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