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Intel CEO: WiMAX More Attractive Than DSL, Cable

Intel CEO Craig Barrett Friday predicted that WiMAX would compete effectively in the consumer broadband market, calling DSL and cable access "half-assed in terms of speed."

"Most of us who have DSL or cable at home do not have good broadband but kind of half-ass broadband, which doesn't really allow for good streaming video or that kind of stuff," Barrett said in an interview with the Reuters news service.

Intel has been vigorously promoting WiMAX wireless broadband and is developing chipsets and other equipment related to the technology. While a number of wireless ISPs are already providing pre-WiMAX service, officially certified WiMAX equipment won't be available until the end of 2005. Initially, WiMAX will provide only fixed access, although a mobile version is expected to be available within two years.

Barrett said that, while cable and DSL rarely deliver speeds faster than 5Mbps, WiMAX will deliver twice that speed, which should make it attractive for many home users.

"I think that will be very competitive with those technologies, and especially where those technologies aren't built out, in rural areas," Barrett told Reuters.