News Release Details

Wi-LAN Helps Bring High-Speed Internet Access to Over Four Thousand British Columbia Students


Rural Schools in the Columbia Valley Linked by a 240 Km Wireless Network Using Wi-LAN Equipment

Columbia Valley, B.C.
August 8, 2000

Wi-LAN Inc. (TSE: WIN), an innovator of high-speed wireless data/Internet communications, Rocky Mountain Networks Ltd., a bandwidth service provider, and the Government of British Columbia announced a high-speed wireless data network is now up and running in the British Columbia interior. With a total range of 240 kms, the network, built with Wi-LAN equipment, connects 30 schools in 7 communities in the Columbia Valley. The region is located 260 kms west of Calgary. The network enables Rocky Mountain Networks to provide high-speed wireless Internet service to nearly five thousand administrators, teachers, and students.

"As educators, we are thrilled over four thousand students in our district have high speed wireless Internet access," said Chris Molcak, Rocky Mountain School District vice principal technology services. "The availability of high-speed Internet access puts our students on par with their counterparts in major cities allowing them to discover new opportunities without having to leave the valley."

The Network:
The network was built as part of the Government of British Columbia's Provincial Learning Network (PLN), an initiative to equip all public schools and college campuses in the province with high speed Internet access. The goal is to have the facilities connected to each other and the Internet by the end of the month. The Rocky Mountain Networks portion of the PLN connects schools in Golden, Invermere, and Kimberley, and includes the single longest link established with Wi-LAN equipment of 58 kms, between the White Tooth Ski Resort near Golden, and Jubilee Mountain. 

By installing Wi-LAN's wireless Ethernet bridges on towers, Rocky Mountain Networks will be able to provide the schools with effective user data rates of up to 3.2 megabits per second (Mbps) - over 100 times faster than a 28.8 Kbps modem.

"We wouldn't have been able to provide high-speed Internet access without Wi-LAN's equipment as the geography of our region makes it difficult for landline installation," says Bill Therens co-owner of Rocky Mountain Networks. "We're thrilled to be able to provide our schools with this service and we're excited about the potential this network brings. This fall, the network will be providing government offices, area resorts and residential customers with high-speed wireless Internet access. We're confident the local economy will be stimulated as a result as people will now have the same wireless resources as those in bigger centers."

Under terms of the agreement, Wi-LAN has supplied Rocky Mountain Networks with a total of 46 of its 4.5 megabit per second (Mbps), and 2.2 Mbps 2.4 GHz Hopper Plus(tm) wireless Ethernet bridges, based on Wi-LAN's Direct Spread Sequence Spectrum (DSSS) technology. The development of this network using wireless technology will enable a short deployment period to create a high- speed wireless point-to-multipoint system that is scaleable and easily expandable.

"Once again we are able to prove that broadband wireless networks provide tremendous value to schools and businesses in communities that are not served by traditional service providers," said David Bocking, vice president Canadian sales, Wi-LAN Inc. "This network illustrates the creativity of our engineering teams and the versatility of our Hopper Plus product as one that can go the distance as a backbone solution plus function effectively in a point to multipoint configuration to connect schools and businesses in each community."

About Rocky Mountain Networks Limited:
Rocky Mountain Networks Limited, situated in Golden, British Columbia is a full-featured Internet service provider dedicated to providing wireless Internet access. Established in 1995, it supplies Internet service to Rocky Mountain School District No6 as well as the communities of Golden, Invermere, Kimberley and surrounding areas.

It pioneered traditional dial up access in the Columbia Valley and now is offering high-speed wireless access as part of its commitment to its customers to provide the most efficient Internet access. More information can be found on their website at

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