Especially in these economic times where you must pair the extension of broadband services with cost-effectiveness, wireless is the fiscally responsible option. We have provided the end-to-end broadband wireless networks for many rural communities throughout the world, and we are always encouraged to see the positive economic impact that broadband connectivity has on these areas.
Silicon Valley, CA (Vocus) March 18, 2009
Proxim Wireless Corporation (NASDAQ: PRXM), a leading provider of end-to-end broadband wireless systems that deliver the quadruple play, today announced that Cybermoor Ltd., a UK market leader in community broadband projects, has signed an agreement to upgrade the existing Cybermoor network on Alston Moor using Proxim's wireless broadband solutions.
Alston Moor is both the highest market town in England as well as one of the most remote - so conventional high-speed broadband service is not available. In 2002 Cybermoor installed the UK's first wireless broadband network in a rural community and Alston Moor quickly became recognized as the "Broadband Capital of Britain" with almost 40% of households having a broadband connection, at the then-fantastic speed of 1 Mbps. This latest upgrade with Proxim equipment will enable all members of the community in Alston Moor to receive wireless service of up to 12 Mbps.
The Cybermoor social enterprise began in 2001 with funding from the British government to investigate how digital communications and computers might help boost rural economies. The first phase used the government funding to provide over 600 computers for the residents of Alston Moor, enough to put a computer in nearly every home in the community at no cost to the residents. The next step was to provide a broadband network that all of these computers could connect to. This original 802.11b network continues to work today but equipment failures are becoming increasingly common with the age of the exposed equipment and interference with home Wi-Fi networks is a constant problem. The new Proxim network uses the 5.8 GHz frequency, so interference will be reduced.
"The distance and terrain between Alston Moor and other towns caused more than just a physical separation - it prevented the deployment of traditional broadband, which created a significant economic separation as well. As a social enterprise, we have far greater customer take up than conventional ISPs, making it easier to plan network upgrades," said Daniel Heery, Project Manager for Cybermoor. "When we were evaluating technologies that could overcome the existing problems and deliver a higher quality and higher speed service to our members in a cost-effective manner, it became clear that Proxim's wireless broadband systems were the optimal solution".
Cybermoor is utilizing Proxim's Tsunami™ MP.11 license-free WiMAX radios to distribute the wireless connection throughout the town. As a result, the entire town is now blanketed with affordable wireless broadband access, which costs only £8.99 ($12) per month. And since the household computers were completely subsidized, residents are able to get connected to the Internet right away.
Proxim's UK partner on this project was 802 Global who, through a series of site visits, worked closely with Cybermoor to define the detailed network plan ensuring that the optimal solution was developed in order to meet end-user requirements. During the installation process, 802 Global is providing comprehensive ongoing support and training to the Cybermoor team.
More than Just Internet Access
While many people debate the legitimacy of the "digital divide" and whether having broadband connectivity truly makes any difference from an economic standpoint, Alston Moor is glaring proof of the opportunities broadband brings. This was not a case of merely providing a town with broadband so that they could surf the Web - the broadband network in Alston Moor is truly changing lives via the services it has empowered and the opportunities it enables.
Telemedicine Makes a House Call
Whereas the people of Alston Moor were once required to drive over 30 miles just to visit the nearest big hospital, the new broadband network will pave the way for a ground-breaking e-health systems. For vulnerable or elderly members of the community, remote monitoring equipment will be placed in their homes, reducing their need to travel and enabling the health service to have a continual check on their health status. This will save residents a great deal of time and money by cutting out nurses visits that are not required.
Education Extends Beyond the Classroom
Now that nearly every home in the town has a household computer, the town's schools saw an improvement in educational attainment. Lessons can be downloaded at home, allowing parents to see what their children are learning and giving pupils the chance to learn at their own pace.
Connecting with New Businesses, and Creating New Jobs
In a perfect example of how broadband connectivity can empower people to change their economic status, one resident moved his business from the South East of England to Alstom Moor. Due to the extremely low cost of office space and connectivity, he was able to cost-effectively run a global business from a refurbished farm. As the town became known for its exceptional and cost-effective broadband network, other businesses began to move into the area. As a result, over 25 new jobs have been created already - a significant number in a town of 2,500 people.
It All Adds Up
In the case of Alston Moor, the ROI of bridging the digital divide is no grey area. The improved educational system, improved public service delivery and the creation of new jobs all added up to a number of measurable benefits. In addition to the new businesses that were attracted to the town and the 25 new jobs that were created, property values in Alston Moor rose over 25 percent. Between the value of the new jobs created and the dramatic increase in property values, the ROI for the Proxim network is more than 25x the amount invested.
"The town of Alston Moor is the perfect example of what people can achieve when they are enabled with the right technologies," said Daniel Heery, Project Manager for Cybermoor. "People are connecting with others in the community, new businesses are coming into the town because of the broadband network, and new jobs have been created. Despite the fact that this is a small town of just 2,500 people, the impact of this network on the residents has been undeniable. And the overwhelming success of this program has positioned us as a national example of how to cost-effectively roll out broadband services to similar remote areas throughout the country."
"Bridging the digital divide is a global issue, and wired technology often fails in helping close the gap due to the high cost of materials and services required to reach remote areas," said Simon Snowdon, UK Sales Manager at Proxim Wireless. "Especially in these economic times where you must pair the extension of broadband services with cost-effectiveness, wireless is the fiscally responsible option. We have provided the end-to-end broadband wireless networks for many rural communities throughout the world, and we are always encouraged to see the positive economic impact that broadband connectivity has on these areas."
About Cybermoor Ltd.
Cybermoor Ltd is a founder member of the Community Broadband Network supporting the growth of broadband across the country. Today, with its deployment in Alston Moor, Cybermoor Ltd has the highest penetration of broadband in any rural area in England. Cybermoor provides a model for other rural towns to follow and now advises other organisations on how they too can secure funding and create their own community broadband networks. For more information, please visit http://www.cybermoor.org.
About 802 Global
802 Global is a specialist value-added distributor, delivering a full range of quality services and support in the wireless, IP CCTV and voice over IP markets. We work with key channel partners including IT Value Added Resellers, CCTV installation companies, ISPs and telcos to develop innovative leading edge solutions. 802 Global also develops customised products tailored to meet the needs of the emergency services, first responders and the public safety market. For more information please visit http://www.802global.com.
About Proxim Wireless
Proxim Wireless Corporation (NASDAQ: PRXM) is a leading provider of end-to-end broadband wireless systems that deliver the quadruple play of voice, video, data and mobility to all organizations today. Our systems enable a variety of wireless applications including security and surveillance, VoIP, last mile access, enterprise LAN connectivity and Point-to-Point backhaul. We have shipped more than 1.8 million wireless devices to more than 235,000 customers in over 65 countries worldwide. Proxim is ISO-9001 certified. Information about Proxim can be found at http://www.proxim.com. For investor relations information, e-mail ir (at) proxim (dot) com or call +1 413-584-1425.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Our actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could contribute to such differences including difficulties in overcoming the network installation and operational challenges relating to any specific customer or geographical area; factors beyond our control such as weather, geographic, governmental, and interference issues; specific requirements of a given customer in their specific situations; uncertainties as to the extent of any specific equipment deployments or network expansions or any specific types of connectivity or services available in any specific geographic region; delays or changes in or cancellation of contemplated product deployments; and difficulties or delays in supplying products with the features, performance, compliances, certifications, cost, price, and other characteristics desired by customers. Further information on these and other factors that could affect our actual results is and will be included in filings made by Proxim Wireless from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in our other public statements.
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
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