The UK's first university WiMax network is being built at the University of Kent, with plans for it eventually to cover the whole of Canterbury.
UK firm Telabria will build a WiMax (802.16d) wireless broadband network by June that will deliver up to 45Mbps at ranges of up to 15 miles.
Since the University of Kent campus overlooks Canterbury, non-campus businesses and consumers will be able to use the signal.
"It's a win-win situation for everyone involved," said Jim Baker, founder and chief executive at Telabria.
The company will use the university's electronics and computing research facilities and academic staff to help design the wireless broadband network.
"In return we can provide training and real-world experience for undergraduate and postgraduate students in technical fields, preparing them for careers in the telecoms industry," said Baker.
The university will host the base stations, and future plans include linking the network with a Wi-Fi hotspot in the town centre.
After the 90-day trial period Telabria wants to extend the network to cover the whole of Kent and offer a commercial service to compete with DSL providers.
"The University of Kent has a reputation for innovation and works closely with the business community in Kent," said Professor Phillip Davies, pro vice chancellor and former head of the university's electronics department.
"We believe that the collaboration with Telabria will not only explore the boundaries of wireless broadband communications, but contribute to knowledge transfer and provide the students with an insight into real-world career opportunities in this exciting field."
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