Big news on the Internet access front here in the Great White North. “The Globe and Mail reported”:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050916.wbellrogers0916/BNStory/Business/ last week on the revitalization of “Inukshuk”:http://www.inukshuk.ca as a joint venture between “Bell”:http://www.bell.ca and “Rogers”:http://www.rogers.com to provide wireless broadband to the majority of Canadians within three years.
bq.. Bell Canada and Rogers Communications Inc. have reached an agreement to spend $200-million to build a wireless broadband network in a move that appears to put both players’ national aspirations ahead of long-time business rivalries.
The two communications giants said yesterday that they will pool their wireless broadband spectrum into an existing company called Inukshuk Internet Inc., in which they will hold equal stakes. Inukshuk (which is an Inuit stone marker) will build and operate a wireless broadband network that will reach more than two-thirds of Canadians in less than three years.
p. How cool is that?
The article goes on to say:
bq.. “We’re going to build a common plumbing system, and we’re going to fight like mad to sell our own version of the water,” said David Robinson, vice-president of business implementation at Rogers.
He said the partnership lets the parties launch the service in more places sooner and at lower cost.
The network will cover more than 40 cities as well as 50 rural and remote communities, some of which are still waiting for high-speed Internet access. There are two target audiences: underserved rural communities and people who want wireless high-speed Internet access beyond their homes.
p. Given that “Ipsos-Reid”:http://www.ipsos.ca says that 3/4 of Canadian now have broadband access, this is timely for those in locations where broadband is not currently available. And since Ipsos also found that Cable and DSL are in a dead heat in market penetration, this also makes for a good corporate soap opera as we see if they can pull it off without going for each other’s jugular.