iiNet opens R&D facility

The new division, iiNet Labs, will focus on developing new media devices, specifically next generation modems

Internet service provider (ISP) iiNet (ASX:IIN) has announced the opening of a new in-house research and development division for the production of media devices, specifically focusing on the next generation of modems.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting today, iiNet chief executive, Michael Malone, said work at iiNet Labs had already commenced with new products to be available in the coming months.

According to Malone, the new lab will expand on the ISP’s products, following BoB, fetchtv and Naked DSL and give the ISP more control of development and the ability to respond to changing customer demands and trends.

iiNet chief technology officer (CTO), Greg Bader, told Computerworld Australia the new division would act as an extension of the ISP’s current in-house testing facilities.

“We’ll be looking to build on the success of BoB [iiNet’s wireless modem], and bring some of that development in-house and rather than buying products off the shelf, we want to get our fingers in there and customise and tailor products for what we need,” Bader said. “We’ve seen in the marketplace more mobile media devices and so all those things are on the drawing board.”

The division will be run by the company’s general manager of business, Steve Harley, and while its headquarters will be based in Perth, Bader said the facility will be “a bit of a virtual lab”.

Earlier this year, the ISP flagged potential plans to cease carrying the ABC’s TV service, iView, in its Freezone due to the strain it puts on its network, however, Bader maintained no decision had been made as yet.

“At this stage we prefer not to [charge for iView], we’d rather work with the ABC and make sure we’re optimising the delivery model for it,” he said.

“We’re not going to get rid of it, our customers love it… like anything there are efficient, logical ways to deliver content and there are inefficient ways, so we’re just working with the ABC to make sure that the way it’s delivered is the best possible way from a performance perspective to a customer, and a lowest cost from our perspective.”

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

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