Broadband wireless networks launch in U.K., Austria

Businesses in some regions of the U.K. and Austria now have broadband connectivity options beyond DSL.

Telabria commercially launched a broadband wireless network serving businesses and residential customers in Kent, in the southeast of England, the company said Thursday. The launch follows a six-month trial.

Separately, WiMax Telecom said it had chosen Alcatel to supply a broadband wireless network to cover the southeastern counties of Styria and Burgenland in Austria. The network is already serving customers and the operator is accepting orders for new customers.

Both operators are driven by support — either monetarily or simply vocally — from groups within their respective governments. WiMax Austria has received a federal grant to build its network and Telabria is encouraged by local councils and economic development offices. In both countries, customers in the regions that are outside of major metropolitan areas have had little choice for broadband access.

“The problem we have here in Kent is that competition is thin on the ground,” said Jim Baker, Telabria’s chief executive officer and founder.

Telabria, which is marketing the service under the Skylink brand, is also based in Kent. Residents and businesses in some areas of the region can order DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) from BT, but DSL isn’t available to everyone. Businesses in the region that wish to order a higher speed dedicated leased line from BT pay about

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