Southland firm trialling new wireless internet service

Invercargill-based medical lab service provider Medlab Southland has chosen southern ISP SouthNet's new Wi-Fi broadband wireless internet service.

Invercargill-based medical lab service provider Medlab Southland has chosen southern ISP SouthNet's new Wi-Fi broadband wireless internet service.

Systems manager Graeme McLaren says the choice was partly made to avoid "a re-alignment of our PBX [private branch exchange] system, which would have been expensive".

The SouthNet Wi-Fi system was chosen, initially on a three-month trial basis, to avoid the re-alignment, McLaren says, "and because SouthNet is a local company."

Medlab provides lab services such as blood test results to GPs and hospitals in Southland and employs 35 staff.

"We need fast internet because a lot of our work is email-based and sending 6MB over dial-up internet is a long-winded business."

Medlab Southland is one of the first businesses in Southland to sign up for SouthNet's Wi-Fi, which was launched earlier this year after Southland venture capital agency InvestSouth (jointly owned by the Southland Community Trust and the Southland Building Society) put an amount SouthNet managing director Marc Cohen described as "six figures" into the venture in September.

The Wi-Fi system is based atop Invercargill's Kelvin Hotel and potential customers need a line-of-sight link to the hotel.

The technologies behind the SouthNet service are BreezeNet and Aironet - the latter a Cisco product. The service is being distributed through the reseller channel in Southland.

The service operates at a frequency of 2.4GHz and to the 802.11b specification.

(Wi-Fi is another term for 802.11b).

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