August 19, 2003

Sunshine on the back burner

The Register

Lincolnshire-based ISP WRBB has delayed the launch of its rural wireless broadband service because it is still waiting for equipment to be officially certified.

The service - called Sunshine - was due to go live at the end of September, covering East Midlands and East Anglia before being made available nationwide by the end of 2005.

Now, though, the company has had to inform potential punters that the "countdown" to the launch has been halted and it won't be restarted until the necessary hardware is certified.

In a message posted on its web site, WRBB reports that while the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) approved and ratified the 802.11g standard on 12 June 2003, the WiFi Alliance has yet to complete its testing. So far, only eight products have got the thumbs up.

WRBB sales and marketing director David Acton told The Register: "Until the hardware is certified, we can't roll-out the service."

The company has put pressure on the WiFi Alliance - a group of wireless LAN manufacturers and vendors that runs a scheme to ensure that any certified device will interoperate with all other certified devices - to complete its work, but at the moment it's unclear when that might be.

Disappointed to see that Sunshine has been put on hold until the WIFI alliance get their act together.

We need more competition in Broadband and we need a market that ensures expansion to all areas and ensures that the big players i.e. BT and ntl are kept on their toes. The more pressure on providers, the more innovation, the better off consumers and businesses will be. Ultimately the country as a whole benefits from the communication infrastructure and associated spinoffs.

Therefore I hope WRBB are simply delaying for the reason stated and do not have problems with their business model or financing.

Posted by Paul Goodison at August 19, 2003 09:46 PM | TrackBack

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