Telewest turns to wireless for home broadband push

Uses Netgear to run connection from TV to PC
Written by Tony Hallett, Contributor

Uses Netgear to run connection from TV to PC

Telewest Broadband has teamed up with recently floated Netgear to be able to offer broadband to homes via its set-top boxes. Every digital set-top box Telewest supplies to home users also contains a cable modem and wireless equipment from Netgear, allowing the customer's PC to use a high-speed connection anywhere in the house without running more cables along the walls. Its range, in theory, is 150m indoors. A wireless self-installation pack has gone on sale for £35. The move comes after research shows 80 per cent of Telewest customers have their TV and PC in different rooms. The operator's established Blueyonder broadband service usually runs off a separate cable into a house and is set up either through a visit from a technician, costing £50, or through self-install, at £12.50. A Telewest spokeswoman said the development is separate to any plans to provide a home wireless network offering, which the company is thought to have been working on for over a year. "This is the first step in that direction," she said. "But we want to get it right and don't want to rush." Telewest has found around 30 per cent of its Blueyonder broadband customers run their own wireless home networks, probably using 802.11b - or Wi-Fi - equipment most of the time. The latest self-installation broadband pack is pre-configured for one high-speed connection and comes with security settings in place. This provides a pointer as to how a future bundled wireless network service could be packaged, the spokeswoman said.
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