BigAir buys ISP AccessPlus for $5m

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BigAir buys ISP AccessPlus for $5m

Builds on student accommodation market.

BigAir has bought ISP AccessPlus for $5 million in a bid to expand its share of the internet market servicing tertiary students.

AccessPlus services about 20 student accommodation sites across Australia using a mix of fibre, Ethernet, fixed wireless and ADSL2+ services.

In a statement, BigAir said it planned to deploy its fixed wireless backhaul network into each AccessPlus site once the acquisition was completed.

"We'd look to put our own [fixed wireless] solutions into each site but may also retain some of the existing fibre links for redundancy and load balancing," BigAir chief Jason Ashton told iTnews.

"We'll deploy infrastructure to make the internet services better, not just swap the [old] links out for our own.

"We're big believers in the redundancy offered by a combination of fixed line and wireless technology.

"Student accommodation sites are so critical in terms of students' learning requirements that you can't afford to have any downtime."

Students in the accommodation sites would be able to purchase internet services at daily, weekly, monthly or yearly rates.

The acquisition built on a sector that BigAir has previously targeted through acquisition.

It purchased Star-Tech Communications in July last year, another ISP that provided similar managed internet services to student accommodation sites, such as halls of residence.

Other service providers, such as vividwireless, have made no secret of their plans to target university students with networks set up to cover campus areas.

Ashton believed BigAir and vividwireless targeted different segments of the student market – the latter, he said, being aimed at students sharing apartments or houses for relatively short periods of time and wanting portable internet connections.

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