News Release Details

Wi-LAN Helps Bring Much-needed High-Speed Internet Access to Ontario Community


Unique Project Uses Wi-LAN Products and Existing Public Utility Infrastructure to Construct Wireless Data Network

Midland, Ontario
July 24, 2000

Wi-LAN Inc. (TSE: WIN), an innovator of high-speed wireless data/Internet communications, Community - One LAN Solutions Inc., an affiliate company of the Midland Power Utility Corporation (Midland PUC), and Compu-SOLVE Internet Services Inc. announced today the availability of a high-speed wireless data network to serve the Midland-Penetanguishene area, a community of 25,000 residents located 130 kilometers north of Toronto. 

The new high-speed wireless network, which will be launched this month, will benefit both public and private business users. As well, it will address the needs of the industrial sector in the area, which is comprised largely of parts manufacturers in the automotive industry. Most of these industries purchase materials used in the manufacture of automotive parts over the Internet; high-speed access will help streamline and improve current operations. As well, where companies require customized solutions, high-speed Internet will enable the rapid transfer of engineering designs and specifications. 

The initial phase of the project involves the installation of Wi-LAN's Hopper Plus(tm) 45-24 wireless Ethernet bridges, which operate in the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band and are capable of data rates up to 4.5 Mbps. The system takes advantage of Wi-LAN's scalable product line, which allows users to increase the capacity of their system as their requirements grow. Midland PUC purchased all required equipment for the initial roll-out; Compu-SOLVE is operating and marketing the wireless network and Internet backbone. 

"We are very pleased to be able to provide such a solution to a public utility," said David Bocking, VP Canadian Sales, Wi-LAN Inc. "Ontario has over 200 municipal public utilities; with the growing requirement for high-speed Internet access, and the low cost of wireless deployment compared to fibre and copper, we believe this is the first of many projects of this nature."

Wi-LAN facilitated the development of Midland's wireless high-speed network by providing products that work with the public utility's existing infrastructure. By installing Wi-LAN's wireless Ethernet bridges on structures such as water towers, Community-One LAN Solutions will be able to provide customers with data rates of up to three megabits per second (Mbps) - over 100 times faster than a 28.8 Kbps modem.

"This is a natural progression of our business," said Rick Archdekin, President of Midland Power Utility Corporation. "We currently provide power distribution services, and this is simply one more service our customers require. As well, we have the existing infrastructure and resources required to build, operate and maintain a high-speed network. In our geographic area, wireless was clearly a better option compared to cable or fibre-optics."

"Much of the Midland-Penetanguishene area had limited access to high-speed Internet until now," said Markus Baumann, Vice-President Internet, Compu-SOLVE. "With the addition of this network, we will be able to meet the needs of businesses requiring high-speed Internet for transmitting data, video-conferencing and other multi-media applications. Compu-SOLVE is very pleased to have the opportunity to partner on this innovative solution."

About Community-One LAN Solutions Inc.:
Community-One LAN Solutions Inc. is an affiliate company of Midland Power Utility Corporation, (formally the Midland Public Utilities Commission) and is dedicated to developing a cost effective LAN solution to Midland and similar communities in Ontario. Midland Power Utility Corp. is the supplier of electric service to 6400 homes and businesses in the Town of Midland, Ontario. 

About Compu-SOLVE:
Compu-SOLVE, based in Midland, Ontario, is a full service Internet service provider and networking company, providing high-speed Internet access and electronic commerce hosting solutions in addition to standard dial-up services to over 7,000 residential and 1,500 corporate clients in Central Ontario. Compu-SOLVE is a leader in network design and installation, with Microsoft certified engineers and technicians specializing in Windows NT networks.

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