NTL has been running a wireless trial in Milton Keynes that was due to end in July 2004. Unfortunately NTL has decided that it will not launch a wireless service in Milton Keynes. The service will run until 20th September 2004, at which point people will need to find an alternate form of broadband. The ADSL limits are likely to have changed by that time so that users will be able to get ADSL in many of the areas the wireless service covered, or some providers may still have places on the existing MK trial.
The trial had 90 customers who were satisfied with the service overall, but NTL decided a commercial service would be unsustainable. A part of the problem was that was as the trial developed it became apparent that filling in the coverage holes would require more transmitter stations and make it uneconomic.
Milton Keynes Council in its letter to the triallists thanks them for taking part in the trial, and acknowledges the grant from SEEDA that helped to stimulate the trial. More details and copies of letters are on the Milton Keynes Broadband Action Group website.
The trial closure should not be seen as a death knell for wireless, it just shows the problems of deploying it in an urban environment when line of sight is required. In more rural areas it may prove be cheaper than technologies like ADSL and cable broadband.
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