Via @latikambourke on Twitter (who really is worth a serious follow – she’s one of those mostly unappreciated folks that you’ll often see asking questions and holding the mic in footage of politicians doorstops) who was scanning the newswire comes something that is pretty fascinating from the ASX. (click to expand)
You can also download the file from the ASX as a pdf here.
This looks like a content play with a “last mile” broadband chaser. Fast speeds+ Seven Network content+a virtual monopoly newspaper in Perth (The West Australian) for a cool $50 mill looks like the most sophisticated new media content play we’ve seen in this country – especially if Perth is going to be used as a market and technology test bed for an eventual national rollout of a similar scheme – even if only in the capital cities.
Quoting Latika on Twitter again:
Okay, just talked to the guy. Seven says it’s 4G wireless network will be offered for computer use only. So 3G phone users no-go.
Headline speeds will be up to 30mbs initially with the capability of upgrading to 100mbs within years.
But average (read actual) speeds will be more like 4-6mbs. The company says Perth is the ‘start’ and a national rollout is definitely option
Seven says its Wireless broadband network is NOT in competition with the Rudd Government’s National Broadband Network. More complementary.
It’s worth remembering that Kerry Stokes is sitting on nearly $1.4 billion in cash. This is a WiMax solution – making it not particularly conducive to legacy mobile phone technology (the big drawback) – but it does provide a mobile broadband avenue to pump large chunks of Stokes owned content into what is effectively the pretty parochial and localised market of WA. It’s an interesting response to struggling heritage media – become a broadband supplier and push content natively. It certainly opens up opportunities in Sandgroper country for media experimentation, finding out what works and what doesn’t in the new media landscape before a possible national rollout. If Stokes is successful, he’ll have the methodological jump on everyone from Nine to News Ltd to Fairfax. If he fails, he’s only pissed $50 mill up the wall.
That’s not a bad risk spread by any yardstick.