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Networking

Surf while you ski at Mt Buller

You'd think that the last thing anyone would want to do on a skiing trip is hop online and check their e-mail, but Mt Buller ski resort in Victoria begs to differ, having recently setup a resort-wide wireless network for its visitors to surf the Web in their idle time.

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You'd think that the last thing anyone would want to do on a skiing trip is hop online and check their e-mail, but Mt Buller ski resort in Victoria begs to differ, having recently setup a resort-wide wireless network for its visitors to surf the Web in their idle time.

"As increasing numbers of Australian's invest in wireless enabled devices, it is essential that we are able to support this technology in [the] resort, allowing residents and visitors alike to easily communicate with people located off-mountain," said Phil Nunn, CEO, Mt Buller.

The network, dubbed "whispar", is an Australian first for a ski resort and was implemented by a company called SnowSports Interactive. It consists of a number of 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi access points that have been strategically placed around the mountain and specifically modified to withstand harsh alpine conditions.

For working professionals, the wireless network makes it easier to escape the daily grind for a few days, all the while maintaining e-mail contact and the ability to modify important documents at a moment's notice. Yet even if you shun working whilst on vacation, the network is a significant value-add as it enables you to send photos and video to family and friends directly from the slopes.

There are a number of pricing plans to choose from, depending on how often you intend to visit the resort. 30mins, 1hr, 2hr and seasonal blocks of access time can be purchased for AU$5, AU$8, AU$13 and AU$279 respectively. Additionally, Amber Gardner, the resort's Media & Marketing Officer, told CNET.com.au that weekly and monthly packages are also available.

If you're planning a visit to the resort but don't want to risk damaging your precious notebook, you may want to check out the rugged and waterproof Panasonic Toughbook.