Political parties full of big air

Labor commits $100 million to connecting 2500 schools to Internet

Wireless broadband provider, BigAir Group Limited today criticized the major parties on both sides of the political divide for relying on out-dated technologies and not making greater use of WiMax.

According to the Labor Party a national fibre link build is essential to reach a digital revolution for schools.

As well as committing $4.7 billion of taxpayers funds to a new broadband network, Labor plans to spend $100 million connecting more than 2500 Australian schools with high-speed Internet access.

However, BigAir CEO, Jason Ashton, said his organization provides fixed WiMax broadband covering major metropolitan areas in Sydney and Melbourne.

"This means schools can be serviced with fibre like speeds without the expense and time constraints of fibre builds," he said.

"This technology operates by installing a WiMax radio at the school or business, which communicates via a high-speed wireless connection to BigAir base stations located throughout Sydney and Melbourne.

"The capital investment therefore required for laying direct fibre or fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technologies is substantially reduced, saving significant upfront and ongoing costs," he said.

"We are a little dumbfounded by the major parties calling for large scale fibre builds to be undertaken when, in most cases, alternative technologies such as wireless broadband can achieve the same results at a fraction of the cost and without any lengthy construction delays."

BigAir has provided services to a number of schools in the Sydney region including Loreto Normanhurst, Emmanuel College and Trinity Grammar with symmetric services at a fraction of the cost of fibre.

"These links are easily upgradable and speeds up to 30Mbps can be achieved without changing the existing equipment, and even 100Mbps or faster is available with a simple radio upgrade," Ashton explained.

"Using WiMax allows us to deliver services that are more reliable, higher quality and with greater coverage than other proprietary wireless services."

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