Milton Keynes will become the first UK city to use WiMax broadband technology when trials begin in December. The system uses specific bands of radio spectrum to provide long-range wireless access speeds of up to 10Mbit/s. The six-month trial, run by supplier Pipex Wireless in co-operation with the city council, will use five base stations to provide broadband access to 500 business and domestic users. If successful, it will be extended to the whole city, says Pipex Wireless.
The supplier's pilot system in Stratford-upon-Avon has been running since mid-2005 but has only one base station and a small number of users. The Milton Keynes project aims to test the technology's scalability and how it performs in a commercial environment with assorted users receiving different speeds. 'This project reflects our continuing commitment to the digital economy in our town and to improving broadband provision,' said Milton Keynes Council head of IT Steven Jewell.