It had to happen one day, we just didn't think it would be this millennium.
Proving to be possibly the first real post-Chrimbo gift for we Brits is news that a joint agreement between Freedom4 and Connect MK could see us binning our BT landlines for the country's first publically available commercial WiMAX service.
Initially thrilling residents of the nubile concrete loving new town also known as Milton Keynes (with a wider roll-out scheduled for later in '08), the service will offer three packages inventively titled the MK Home Package 1, 2 and 3. Despite not exactly blazing a speed trail (1 offers 1Mbps download, with 2 and 3 providing 2Mbps) generous monthly user allowances of 10GB, 20GB and 40GB respectively have been enforced and following a £45 set-up cost and signing a 12 month contract prices aren't terrible at £20, £25 and £50 considering the quarterly savings on BT line rental.
"We have had great success with our trials of WiMax in the Milton Keynes area and partnering with ConnectMK allows us to reach the wider community," said Mike Read, CEO at Freedom4. "We can also provide services in areas where traditional ADSL access is not feasible, giving residents and businesses a cost-effective alternative to access the latest in Internet connectivity."
Steven Jewell, fellow CEO at ConnectMK (predictably) backed up these comments adding: "Our aim is to make Milton Keynes the first WiMax-powered wireless internet city and partnering with Freedom4 enables us to drive forward our ambitions. As the WiMax network expands, we will offer the service to an increasing number of residents and businesses, helping to make Milton Keynes a highly connected city."
Over 1,000 Milton Keynesians have already pre-registered for the service so - despite a likely long-term bridesmaid role to HSDPA - WiMAX may not be the ugly sister everyone had long suspected…