BT Openzone wireless broadband lands
A new type of high-speed broadband communications has made
its debut in Cornwall.
The first BT Openzone wireless broadband hotspot west of
Bristol was today officially launched at BT's Goonhilly Satellite
Earth Station on the Lizard peninsula.
It is expected to be the first of many in Cornwall. The multi
million pound broadband project actnow, of which BT is a major
partner and in which Objective One has invested £5.25
million has already signed with BT Openzone and is helping
to establish other sites in Cornwall. The actnow headquarters
at the award winning Tolvaddon Energy Park, near Camborne,
will be live with BT Openzone by the end of next month.
A BT Openzone site allows people with a laptop computer or
pocket PC and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) card to access
data at speeds almost ten times faster than a conventional
modem without the need to plug-in to a connection. Users have
to be within about 100 metres of an Openzone to make use of
the wireless technology.
At Goonhilly, a demonstrator is available for people to try
the technology or visitors are able to make use of their own
equipment to access the high-speed service. Each year, Goonhilly
is visited by about 90,000 people.
Nationally, BT Openzone has committed itself to delivering
4,000 sites by next summer. A 'hotspot in a box' variant,
a product developed by BT and Toshiba, is expected to appeal
to local establishments, such as small hotels, bookshops and
golf clubs, who want to give their customers the chance to
benefit from mobile broadband, but need a low-cost solution.
Nigel Ashcroft, project director for actnow, the £12.5
million public and private sector broadband partnership, who
also attended today's launch, said: "The establishment
of these BT Openzone sites will help to ensure that Cornwall
remains at the leading edge of high speed communications.
To be at the forefront is vital for the future prosperity
of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly because it helps to demonstrate
that Cornwall is a great place to do business."
Using BT Openzone
BT Openzone provides access to the internet
and the ability to get secure and fast connection to corporate
networks while working "on
the pause" away from the office. Users with a laptop
and a Wireless LAN access card and software can access data
at speeds of up to 500 kbps (almost 10 times faster than a
standard 56K modem), enabling them to send and receive large
quantities of information at broadband speed. Users need to
be within range of a BT Openzone site (approx 100 metres)
- zones will be badged with the BT Openzone logo. PC access
cards range from £45 to £120, but are likely to
become cheaper as wireless LAN is increasingly built into
PCs as standard.
Subscriptions start at just £10 a month
for 120 minutes and there is an occasional user option, offering
a one-hour pass for just £6, which can be paid for with
vouchers or online using a variety of credit cards.
A full list of prices is available at www.bt.com/openzone.
BT Goonhilly is the largest satellite station
in the world. It is one of BT's key locations for international
communications as well as being a major tourist attraction.
The site has more than 60 satellite dishes as well as numerous
fibre optic cables. About 90,000 people a year visit Goonhilly's
visitors centre, which has recently been refurbished and extended.
The actnow programme is a demand-led initiative
to encourage businesses in Cornwall to gain the support they
need to move into the new broadband economy. Including about
£5.25 million from Objective One, it is one of the largest
private and public sector partnerships in Cornwall since the
county was granted Objective One status by the European Union
in 2000. Partners include BT, the Objective One Partnership
Office, Cornwall Enterprise, the South West of England Regional
Development Agency, Cornwall County Council, Business Link
Devon & Cornwall and Cornwall College.
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
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