RealTime IT News

Local Company Hopes to Bring Broadband without Wires

Burst Wireless, founded by telecommunications veterans from McCaw Cellular and NEXTLINK Communications, announced it will introduce its completely portable, broadband Internet access solution to computer users by mid-year 2001.

Field trials on the Olympic Peninsula as early as this Summer.

Burst Wireless will provide facilities-based service, offering portable broadband access to residential and small commercial customers throughout the U.S. The company will use a "plug and play" wireless modem that allows computer users to access the Internet anywhere within the company's service area.

Bursts service will use a similar infrastructure to Sprint PCS. Equipment will be attached to pre-existing wireless towers to provide coverage of 16 square miles per tower.

Steven Pollis, Chief Marketing Officer for Burst, explains that the company will provide portable, not mobile, broadband service.

"We've given up true mobility for a bigger pipe," says Pollis, who explains that in order to achieve the download rates of 144 to 256 bps over a wireless network, some provisions had to be made.

The product, however, will be able to function on a portable basis, allowing for use in infinite static locations.

The company believes this product will help bridge the "digital divide," by bringing high-speed service to areas without access to broadband services.

According to Pollis, many areas will not have access to broadband anytime in the near future. Because Burst can rapidly build towers based upon consumer demand, those neglected by DSL and Cable, will be able to access the Internet at high speeds.

The field trials will take place in Port Angeles, Washington. The company will utilize a specially designed truck containing base station equipment to handle wireless signals and network traffic.