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Milton Keynes to trial high-speed net

WiMax technology will debut there


Milton Keynes is set to become the first UK city to have a high-speed WiMax wireless broadband network.

WiMax is similar to WiFi technology but offers high-speed wireless net access over kilometres rather than just a few metres.

Reuters is reporting joint plans by telecoms firm Pipex and technology specialist Intel to blanket parts of the city with the new technology.

Steven Jewell, head of IT for Milton Keynes, told Reuters that WiMax would be rolled out across the city bit by bit.

He said:‘Milton Keynes will be probably the first place for a major proving roll-out of WiMax in the UK. Signals will be sent out into various parts of Milton Keynes – it won’t be the whole of Milton Keynes to start with.’

Eight UK cities

Pipex announced last week that it had successfully completed its latest WiMax trial in Stratford-upon-Avon. 

It has already said it has plans to roll out WiMax in eight UK cities by 2008, including networks in London and Manchester.

High-speed broadband connections are not widely available in Milton Keynes following decisions made during its rapid expansion in the 1980s to lay lower-quality aluminum cables rather than copper ones.

WiMax is seen as a way around the problem, giving its 220,000 inhabitants high-speed broadband access without relying on reluctant telecoms firms to fund the necessary cable upgrades.

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