PBBA gets $12m for iBurst expansion

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Personal Broadband Australia (PBBA) has secured second-round funding of $12 million from shareholder and new CEO Jim Cooney.

Personal Broadband Australia (PBBA) has secured second-round funding of $12 million from shareholder and new CEO Jim Cooney.

The funds are slated to help expand PBBA's iBurst mobile broadband service along the east coast, the company said.

Cooney is a shareholder and has been a PBBA director since 2002. He had 'an outstanding record' in developing telecommunications businesses in Australia and the UK, and so was appointed CEO to lead the iBurst service's national commercialisation phase, PBBA said.

He had also founded an Australian system integrator Total Communications Infrastructure (TCI), it said, but will resign the directorship of that company to concentrate on PBBA.

Cooney's $12 million 'brings about a restructure in share ownership', making the company majority Australian-owned. Other shareholders ArrayComm, Mitsubishi Japan, Kyocera Japan and Mitsubishi Australia remained 'committed to the business', PBBA added.

A third fund-raising round, planned as a mix of debt and equity, had begun, the company said.

Cooney claimed iBurst was the 'most exciting' new product since the mobile telephone.

'Personal Broadband has already redefined many expectations surrounding portable internet access, but the real revolution in wireless broadband is about to commence. We are on track for commercial launch in a matter of weeks,' he said.

Former PBBA CEO Charles Reed will remain as an advisor for several months, PBBA said.

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