Where do you go (strategically) when you’re operating as a large independent ISP in a national market rolling out a state-backed national broadband network?
Perth-based iiNet, which styles itself as Australia's second largest DSL ISP, says it’s going to deploy 30,000 WiFi hotspots across Australia’s capital cities in a bid to provide ubiquitous WiFi coverage and faster mobile internet access than is currently available over the cell networks. In doing so it will not only take on the country’s two cellular incumbents - Telstra and Optus - it says, but give its broadband customers another reason to stay attached to iiNet by offering them WiFi roaming to the other big cities.
Fighting talk. iiNet currently operates in Perth (Western Australia) and Adelaide (South Australia) and says it is looking at extending its network to Sydney (New South Wales) and Melbourne (Victoria).
To find the money, iiNet is seeking other telco, government and/or municipal government participation in the scheme.
iiNet’s Adelaide deployment, AdelaideFree, is already under way and expected to be completed in a few months when it will cover nearly all of Northern Adelaide’s central business district.