Wireless ‘will halve cost of broadband’ -start up

MyZones franchise scheme

A new startup company calling itself "the world's first integrated WiFi broadband service" will unveil its new offering tomorrow at the WLAN Event in London

The company is called MyZones and says that it has come up with a radical new concept. In fact, it looks very similar to other products like Sputnik/ Joltage, and Boingo, which give a franchise to people who provide public wireless to use other franchised hotspots.

The good news is that Boingo still seems to be going; the bad news is that Joltage wrote to its franchisees in February, saying that it couldn't afford to carry on.

None of this discourages MyZones. "As a world's first, the MyZones service enables consumers to deploy secure managed WiFi broadband home zones, shared zones and public zones," said Clive Mayhew-Begg, Chief Zones Officer.

"The three zones provided by MyZones enable consumers to deploy secure home Wi-Fi networks, operate as public access hotspot providers and share their broadband costs with their neighbours," the company claims.

The aspect that will attract attention, however, is how the co-operative network system is funded.

"Through a unique voucher based system the MyZones users can connect to other public access hotspots," the announcement says. Mayhew-Begg believes this will drive public WiFi access into the mainstream.

"The MyZones service has been developed to make the set-up and management of the WiFi experience as an integrated, easy to use consumer based service - from managing your wireless home network; sharing your broadband connection/costs with neighbours and the local community; to connecting your WiFi devices at work and within public access hotspots."

The company is kicking off with a 30-day free trial offer but for users who already have a broadband connection and their own wireless access point, the service is free. The access point needs to be more tha trivially secure, though; it has to support Radius authentication and network address translation (NAT) before MyZones will accept it as a member.

Finally, there is the offer of broadband over wireless for people within the reach of ADSL broadband: "If you do not have broadband and are based in an area in the UK where you can connect to the BT ADSL service then we would recommend the My Wi-Fi broadband service. MyZones will supply all the equipment for this service directly."

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