- Pacific Who?
- New! Look!
- Pacific Who?
No, it's not the announcement of the new actor for Doctor Who, although I think Oscar Kightley would make a great Doctor. No, I'm referring to the company that's won one of the Project Probe tenders.
Probe is the government's push to get broadband into every community by the end of next year. Up to last week only six tenders had been awarded, three to Woosh/Vodafone and three to Telecom/BCL.
A further four were announced -- two to Telecom/BCL, one to Woosh/Vodafone and one to The Pacific.Net, a local ISP in Nelson.
This is great news -- I'd like to see more of this kind of thing. Why? Because the more the smaller players get a leg-up in the broadband stakes the more choice we end users have. I'm sure Telecom will still service the Nelson market. I'm sure Woosh will still try to get in there, and I'm sure BCL's other partners ICONZ and Ihug will also be happy to roll out service there. One more in the mix is good news because it means more competition and that's what Probe is all about.
Probe's roll is two-fold: increase the reach of broadband technology and increase the competition. Giving all the tenders to Woosh would have achieved both those goals but only just, giving all the tenders to Telecom wouldn't have achieved the second goal at all. This way, everyone's happy, including CEO Steve Christie, who sounded a little like a stunned mullet when I rang him. His staff clearly knew what to do, however, and there was much whoopin' and a'hollerin' in the background. Maybe they're like that every day.
Pacific's solution is also interesting. Initially it will be Wi-Fi based -- the unlicensed spectrum at 2.4GHz that anyone can use. However, the company plans to make use of the 3.5GHz spectrum the government has put aside for Probe winners to offer better quality of service. Nice.
In addition, the company will provide every user with an e-box -- basically an older PC running Linux -- which will act as a firewall among other things. This means if they do change the technology at their end, the end users have nothing to worry about. Move to different spectrum or even fibre where it's available? Great, your e-box will be updated remotely to make sure you stay connected. Christie said he was surprised to find Pacific was the only company doing this and I must admit it sounds ideal to me. Well done to all concerned.
Four terrestrial regions are still to be announced and the satellite region which will cover the final few households that are just too far away for any regular service to reach. Hopefully they will be announced shortly because it's time these guys were left alone to get one with network rollout. Then we'll have something to talk about.
- New! Look!
Golly, two exclamation marks. If that won't set your spam filters to stun I don't know what will.
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