Telecom and BCL are to formalise a relationship in which they will trial wireless technology in the 2GHz spectrum, bought at last year’s spectrum auction, to achieve 97% coverage in Taranaki and other regions.
In New Plymouth for the official launch of Taranaki’s recent DSL upgrade underwriting agreement with Telecom, BCL managing director Geoff Lawson said BCL has been trialling wireless services in Taranaki for several months, including Manaia.
BCL and Telecom have now entered into a more formal arrangement, which will involve “looking at aspects of coverage, capacity and interconnection,” Lawson says.
The Telecom and New Plymouth, South Taranaki and Stratford District councils' underwriting deal to upgrade 15 Taranaki exchanges to DSL capability will lift broadband availability in the region from 27% to 83%. Wireless, utilising BCL’s chain of TV transmission towers, has the potential to take that figure to 97% and satellite could take coverage even higher, Lawson says.
BCL is also doing wireless trials in Southland and the Wairarapa, he says.
Though the arrangement with Telecom in Taranaki is the strongest relationship with a traditional carrier BCL has so far made, “we’re looking to provide wholesale services to a number of other providers,” he adds.
BCL’s towers are already in use for distance learning at schools in Tuatapere in Southland.