Whooshnet challenges Yodel 

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Yodel also impacts on the cable company’s ability to offer services like Video-On-Demand in hotel rooms, because its VOD services are offered through Whooshnet.

While V-Link is covering the capital costs of building the Yodel infrastructure, WCTL questions the municipality’s decision to use public money to help promote, sell and administer a service that will ultimately compete with, and potentially damage, the interests of WCTL, a privately held company.

"What we never, in the history of our company, anticipated was a competitive threat initiated and supported by the very municipal office of the community that we have made this quarter-century commitment to," stated Whistler Cable in its letter to the RMOW.

In its proposal to the municipality WCTL would lease access to its network to Yodel for a return of 30 per cent in addition to the RMOW’s assistance securing access for Whooshnet Wireless equipment.

By way of comparison, the current deal with V-Link would have given the municipality 10 per cent of the revenue until the infrastructure was paid for, after which time V-Link and the RMOW would split revenues 50-50.

WCTL also pledged the following:

  • Ten to 15 per cent of gross service revenue would be returned to property owners in exchange for access to antennae;
  • Revenues from roof access fees would be divided equally between WCTL and the RMOW;
  • WCTL would provide the network, infrastructure and wireless facilities, the subscriber management system, all billing and reporting systems, maintenance, and operational and customer support;
  • WCTL would supply all prepaid calling cards and WhooshNetConnect devices to retailers, cafes, and hotels with a share of profits going towards those retailers;
  • WCTL would agree to market its services under the Yodel brand name.

Yodel also agreed to assume all infrastructure costs, as well as to share revenues with retailers.

According to Bill Barratt, the general manager of community services for the RMOW, they are considering the letter, but will continue to move forward with Yodel.

Yodel is having its soft launch on July 9, and expects to have its service up and running with up to 50 per cent coverage in the village.

The official launch will take place this fall with greater than 90 per cent of the infrastructure in place.

Afterwards, the RMOW and V-Link hope to use Yodel as a model than can be exported to other towns. "Our model is to move it out of Whistler, not just here," explained Barratt.

While he understands why Whistler Cable has an issue with the project, Barratt said that it wasn’t a case of Whistler making a proposal and choosing one company to partner with over another, but an opportunity that came along.

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