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Whooshnet challenges Yodel


Whistler Cable discouraged by partnership between RMOW and V-Link

One way or another, wireless Internet access is coming to Whistler, and Whistler Cable Television Ltd. (WCTL) is determined to be part of this technological revolution.

In response to the municipality’s decision to form a public-private partnership with V-Link to build a wireless network for laptops and personal data assistants in Whistler Village, called Yodel, Whistler Cable has put its own wireless proposal on the table.

Although they were disappointed that they weren’t approached by the municipality earlier in the process, WCTL says it is stilling willing to form a partnership with the RMOW.

The WCTL feels its proposal offers a greater benefit to the community and local businesses than the current partnership with V-Link in terms of cost and profitability, as well as a faster level of service through Whooshnet, their cable internet network.

If the municipality doesn’t reconsider their current arrangement with V-Link by July 15, Whistler Cable has announced that they will launch a competing wireless service for Whistler Village called Whooshnet Wireless.

In doing so Whistler Cable recognizes that "two competing offerings…will significantly impede the success of both offerings and calls into question the long-term sustainability of multiple, parallel Internet networks in this relatively small community," according to a letter sent to the RMOW.

In the letter to John Rae, the manager of strategic alliances for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler Cable expressed disappointment that the municipality had not approach Whistler Cable in the early stages of the project.

They pointed to the company’s 23-year track record in the community, and the investments they have already made in cable and wireless Internet – $100,000 in wireless networking equipment and software and $560,000 in hotel Internet service infrastructure. They expect to invest another $250,000 into these services in the near future.

According to Ian Bell, the consulting program manager for Whistler Cable, Whooshnet Wireless has been in development for over a year.

"What Whooshnet Wireless is presenting to the community represents a great overall deal for citizens, property owners, hotel operators and retailers," said Bell.

"We are also bootstrapping the deployment costs from within the envelope of Whistler Cable Television’s business, and not from public funds. We’re also retaining the profits from the service within the Whistler community, and distributing a far greater percentage of overall revenue to Whistler businesses and citizens."

Whistler Cable views Yodel as a direct threat to its own in-room Internet services.

According to Whistler Cable their in-room service was growing until Yodel, represented by the municipality, began making proposals to Whistler property managers.