dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
2416
share rss forum feed


Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Metrocast Commun..

1 recommendation

How many times have you seen this...

Absolutely no broadband in the community. No DSL, No Cable, Limited Cell coverage.

So a few guys get together and build a WISP, pour lots of money into it, put up data poles and rent space on local towers. Make the deal for backhaul ($$$$) ... and setup shop. Do a little advertising, and start getting subs ... a flood of them. Overwhelmed with site surveys.

All looks good ... THEN ... the local sleepy cable company starts laying fiber, building out their network and now says HEY,"you can now have wired broadband"

Kinda pisses me off because it would never would have happened if not for the local guys.

I will stick with my local WISP and if anyone local asks, I'll say F**k the carpetbaggers ... support your local guys.

Off Soap Box
--
... need help? »evdo-tips.com/



viperm
Carpe Diem
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Winchester, CA

Can I hit "Like" here? hahah AMEN brother!!!

Or as George Lopez would say F**K those Putos!


Chessie

join:2011-02-02
united state

Yep,
The Telco had everything in place for decent DSL a few years ago it had been more or less ready to go for a few years but they were concentrating on getting the town up and running. Amazingly when we put up the equipment in the township and started to install they had vans everywhere getting it all turned on. They actually blanket called and scheduled installs of DSL two weeks in advance.

Oh well... we got some customers and I still get told on semi regular basis that it was because of us that the area has highspeed.

I can't blame them they are a small telco and could react quickly similar to how a wisp can I just filled in the area's they couldn't or wouldn't.


rconaway8

join:2005-11-10
Phoenix, AZ
reply to Jim_in_VA

I ad an area like that except both cable and DSL announced they were coming in the very day I turned it on. I'm still there and growing at 30% per year up to last year. CenturyLinks latest salvo is to tell customers they will drop their price to $18 when they try to disconnect. Keep in mind that the cable companies have to charge a lot more so keep the costs of the wireless model to where you can compete if you have to. In my model, everything is pre-pay and we provide primo tech support.



viperm
Carpe Diem
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Winchester, CA

how do you compete with $18 per month DSL?


rconaway8

join:2005-11-10
Phoenix, AZ

I lay it out in my articles. I would read Chapter 39 and 40.

»www.triadwireless.net/tales-from-the-towers



DaDawgs
Premium
join:2010-08-02
Deltaville, VA

The idea that wireless will always triumph over wired is short sighted at best. It has it's place. It will always be able to compete in that space and one will always be able to make a living in that space with wireless. Never-the-less when it comes to copper, or fiber, wireless can not compete over the long term. By long term I mean a few decades. It is important to always keep life in perspective, Mr. Conaway.
--
Once we IPv6 enable every device on the Internet we will have toasters, baby monitors, and security cameras joining the bot nets which today are populated only by idiots that can not refrain from clicking, "Yes I would like to see those titties..."


rconaway8

join:2005-11-10
Phoenix, AZ

Wired or wireless is irrelevant. The lowest price product will always command at least 15% of any market and for the foreseeable future, it will be wireless leading the way. I'm on my way to 20%+ right now while competing directly with cable and DSL in my area. However, DSL isn't going to get much more than 20Mbps but I see wireless getting to 50Mbps easily over the next year or so. I should have 20Mbps capability running within the next 30 days although I'm only selling 10Mbps this year. I'll start the 20Mbps service at the end of summer.


jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2

said by rconaway8:

DSL isn't going to get much more than 20Mbps but I see wireless getting to 50Mbps easily over the next year or so.

I see places for both wired and wireless, however terrain and population density both play a huge factor into these areas as well. What frequencies are you using to offer 10 or 20mbps service?? 5Ghz? Sure, no problem, except only about 5% of my potential customer base is capable of coverage at 5ghz. 2.4ghz? Great, except that only about 25% of my potential customer base can get 2.4ghz, and most of that is right in town where 2.4ghz is starting to suck. 900mhz is king where I service, but I don't feel comfortable offering more than 1.5 megs over it, and that's pushing it. Realistically it's 1 meg, and it is becoming awfully hard to compete with even basic 1.5 meg DSL at that speed.

I haven't been doing this nearly as long as some of the people on this forum. It's been 6 years for me. But in that 6 years, I went from being a great competitor, to struggling to keep up. My customers are becoming mostly just people who absolutely hate the phone company. I'm slowly turning into the provider of last resort. I still feel I can be profitable serving a niche market for another 5 years or so, but unless white space technology makes a magical appearance at an affordable price, I don't see myself surviving much more than another 5 years without doing something. Sure, I can cut my costs and focus on only serving the villages, but that's also where 10+ meg DSL is available.

I've basically decided that I'm going to keep limping my wireless network along as long as I can, but my focus will most likely be shifting to a 100% investment in fiber. It's quite a bit more expensive up front, but it's useful life should last me 20 to 30 years, maybe more. It seems that each wireless technology only has a reasonable shelf life of about 5 years, and after upgrading my network about 3 times (15ish years), I start to approach the cost of just doing fiber in the first place, not even factoring in the headache of upgrading the network.

Yes, I could probably survive just fine by operating on a minimum budget and focusing on small select areas with the wireless, but I really would like to be THE provider of choice, rather than the last resort. As a WISP, it pains me to admit that wireless doesn't appear to be a long-term solution for my terrain, but at the end of the day, I want to provide internet access and wireless is just one of many technologies to do it. In a different terrain, the scales might shift dramatically towards wireless.

rconaway8

join:2005-11-10
Phoenix, AZ
reply to Jim_in_VA

Actually, I'm using 2.4 and 5GHz for those kinds of speeds but I'm in suburbs, not remote areas. Had to rethink the business plan to compete when CenturyLink tried their $18 "please don't leave us" program and then added their 20Mbps service across the street. We still increased our clients by 50% and it's still going up.



DaDawgs
Premium
join:2010-08-02
Deltaville, VA

2 edits

said by rconaway8:

Actually, I'm using 2.4 and 5GHz for those kinds of speeds but I'm in suburbs, not remote areas. Had to rethink the business plan to compete when CenturyLink tried their $18 "please don't leave us" program and then added their 20Mbps service across the street. We still increased our clients by 50% and it's still going up.

You are in Phoenix. As you know in wireless, one size does not fit all. Honestly delivering broadband in the great southwest desert is about as challenging as walking and chewing gum at the same time.

Some folks live where the tree density per acre is on the order of 50 or so and the average height of a tree is 80 or a hundred feet.

I'd be real interested to see you deliver broadband using 5.8 and 2.4 in that environment. It can certainly be done, but it sure ain't Phoenix.

The argument for white space is really important and we really need that. The large carriers are slowly killing off the competition from this industry. In the specific case that the OP is talking about the cable company actually provides the WISPs upstream providers bandwidth. So they are beating him two ways. They are taking his customers and selling his provider the bandwidth that provider sells the WISP.

As I mentioned in my first post, I tend to think in terms of decades. In a decade the cable company is going to crush both of those WISPs because the cable company can turn off their bandwidth when it becomes convienent, or limit it. Contracts are never "eternal".

I should add that there are a lot of people here who have built successful WISPS.

--
Once we IPv6 enable every device on the Internet we will have toasters, baby monitors, and security cameras joining the bot nets which today are populated only by idiots that can not refrain from clicking, "Yes I would like to see those titties..."

jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2

said by DaDawgs:

Some folks live where the tree density per acre is on the order of 50 or so.

Ha! 50 trees per acre? That's considered a field in these parts.
Expand your moderator at work

rconaway8

join:2005-11-10
Phoenix, AZ
reply to jcremin

Re: How many times have you seen this...

As I stated very explicitly, the speeds I'm delivering in this environment are for a suburban deployment, not rural. If you are rural, you don't have that much wireline competition. If you do, it's a different deployment model.

If wireline is delivering 10Mbps to somebody who is 10 miles from a main road in the middle of nowhere, then wireless is probably not going to be as competitive. 7% of the population is rural, the other 93% are in the cities and suburbs. WISPs have figured out multiple ways to deal with those markets. It's not the market I'm interested in. If you read the multitudes of articles I've written, more specifically the last 3, you can see that I'm directly focused on being a competitor against wireline providers. When someone starts the discussion that their territory is being overrun with wireline and they have trouble competing, then I'm assuming they are closer to higher density areas than 50 acre lots.

We are arguing apples and oranges. I state my cases in my articles and you pick and choose comparisons that aren't even directly related. I made an assumption on the environment and you naturally assumed I'm comparing New York to deepest darkest Africa to come up with a sarcastic response. Since you seem to enjoy the drive by attack that fits your narrative, please put out your technical and financial model which makes the most sense for deployments that you have experience in. Then we can analyze your position to see if it is feasible. I've stated mine, I practice what I write about, and hopefully have helped others along the way.


jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2

said by rconaway8:

We are arguing apples and oranges....

I'm not arguing anything, just putting out the perspective of another WISP in another environment.

said by rconaway8:

you naturally assumed I'm comparing New York to deepest darkest Africa to come up with a sarcastic response....

I'm not being sarcastic or assuming anything about what you've posted.

said by rconaway8:

Since you seem to enjoy the drive by attack that fits your narrative....

I'm also not trying to attack you or anyone else. I'm starting to wonder if you replied to the wrong post....

said by rconaway8:

I practice what I write about, and hopefully have helped others along the way....

I too have the same goal of trying to help others. I'm pretty sure we're on the same team, just on different playing fields....

rconaway8

join:2005-11-10
Phoenix, AZ

Actually, I was addressing DaDawg but since you mentioned it, let's discuss it. When you have competitors that do billions of dollars of sales every year, you have to decide

1) Is it possible to compete - sometimes it's not simply because of financials, laws of physics, or the FCC doing more stupid things or corrupt things to screw up the free market.
2) If possible, what kind of competitor do you want to be. Everyone wants sole market share but those days are long gone. If you are remote, see line 1.
3) You can always buy marketshare if you are sure your competitors aren't going to do the same thing and drive you out of business. However, sometimes it's what you need to get in the door.

Sitting on your hands and waiting for the inevitable is useless. If it's not financially or technically feasible, walk and get into another line of business. If you read my last 2 articles, you can see that in this environment, I chose to focus my product and compete. Every environment is different and sometimes it's just not possible. When that is the case, then don't waste time for a lost cause. Go find another cause.


jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2

Makes sense. In my case, I feel I can compete fine, just not with wireless technologies for much longer, at least not throughout my entire coverage area. Some of those will remain wireless, some won't. I know this is a forum specifically for WISP's, but just because I started as a WISP doesn't mean I will remain one forever. That first letter is much less important to me than the last 3. To me, wireless is just a tool for delivering my product. If another tool allows me to remain competitive and continue being a successful business, I use that tool instead. That's all I was really trying to say.



DaDawgs
Premium
join:2010-08-02
Deltaville, VA
reply to rconaway8

said by rconaway8:

When you have competitors that do billions of dollars of sales every year, you have to decide

1) Is it possible to compete - sometimes it's not simply because of financials, laws of physics, or the FCC doing more stupid things or corrupt things to screw up the free market.
2) If possible, what kind of competitor do you want to be. Everyone wants sole market share but those days are long gone. If you are remote, see line 1.
3) You can always buy marketshare if you are sure your competitors aren't going to do the same thing and drive you out of business. However, sometimes it's what you need to get in the door.

We *ALL* have competitors that do billions of dollars of sales per year. Around here we call them Verizon and Metrocast. Other places they have other names.

WRT your 3 point plan above, these are the decisions we all have to make and we have all done it, some of us first did it ten or twelve years ago. Nothing new in these points.

said by rconaway8:

Sitting on your hands and waiting for the inevitable is useless. If it's not financially or technically feasible, walk and get into another line of business. If you read my last 2 articles, you can see that in this environment, I chose to focus my product and compete. Every environment is different and sometimes it's just not possible. When that is the case, then don't waste time for a lost cause. Go find another cause.

My original observation was that the big players are going to crush the small ones over the long term but I first said that back around 1998 when I observed that it had taken about a hundred years to build out the POTS network and that it will probably take about the same amount of time to build out fiber to the same level. It is going to take a while and smart operators still have plenty of room to make money in this market. Maybe they take what they have learned and start subcontracting build outs with big players. Maybe they decide to teach what they have learned to others and become consultants to the third world. There are lots of opportunities.

Right now we are working on a 40 square mile mesh deployment as a sub to a major carrier. They did the systems engineering and we are doing the build out and configuration. All Cisco hardware, sweet stuff. There will be 639 APs in the deployement on about 213 pops, all on switched VLANs over a fiber WAN. It is going to be a very nice, very flat, very mobile friendly hot zone. Start to finish it will take about six months and we are half way through at this point. It is nice when the customer isn't price sensitive and you don't have to worry whether the firmware in your APs is going to go belly up on the next upgrade.

But I'm not chatting it up in my blogs so ... I guess I can't urge you to visit my web site.
--
Once we IPv6 enable every device on the Internet we will have toasters, baby monitors, and security cameras joining the bot nets which today are populated only by idiots that can not refrain from clicking, "Yes I would like to see those titties..."


DaDawgs
Premium
join:2010-08-02
Deltaville, VA
reply to rconaway8

said by rconaway8:

As I stated very explicitly, the speeds I'm delivering in this environment are for a suburban deployment, not rural. If you are rural, you don't have that much wireline competition. If you do, it's a different deployment model.

Assumption made by a suburban guy who has no rural experience.

said by rconaway8:

If wireline is delivering 10Mbps to somebody who is 10 miles from a main road in the middle of nowhere, then wireless is probably not going to be as competitive. 7% of the population is rural, the other 93% are in the cities and suburbs.

Not sure where you get that number. I just found an article that says it is 16% rural and 84% urban but the point is well taken.

said by rconaway8:

WISPs have figured out multiple ways to deal with those markets. It's not the market I'm interested in. If you read the multitudes of articles I've written, more specifically the last 3, you can see that I'm directly focused on being a competitor against wireline providers. When someone starts the discussion that their territory is being overrun with wireline and they have trouble competing, then I'm assuming they are closer to higher density areas than 50 acre lots.

Well that is an assumption you can't make. I am intimately familiar with the OPs county as I was the first broadband provider in that county in January 2009. You don't have so much experience in various areas that it is safe for you to make these assumptions. That is why I do not read the articles you are so fond of touting here. I study content provided by people who have decades of experience in this business because I can learn from them.

said by rconaway8:

We are arguing apples and oranges. I state my cases in my articles and you pick and choose comparisons that aren't even directly related. I made an assumption on the environment and you naturally assumed I'm comparing New York to deepest darkest Africa to come up with a sarcastic response. Since you seem to enjoy the drive by attack that fits your narrative, please put out your technical and financial model which makes the most sense for deployments that you have experience in. Then we can analyze your position to see if it is feasible. I've stated mine, I practice what I write about, and hopefully have helped others along the way.

I hope you have helped others along the way as well. I know I have. I'm not attacking you. I am suggesting to you that maybe you have an issue which prevents you from hearing all the other brilliant voices who post here, just as I once did.

The WISP community is a vibrant community which has been growing since Marlon first figured out and explained to many of us how to do dry pair DSL circuits. There are a *LOT* of people who read this forum who remember that time because they were already figuring out and DESIGNING the specs for PoE. They were already figuring out and DESIGNING APs which resided at the top of the tower rather than the bottom. You my young friend stand on the shoulders of GIANTS and you haven't even noticed their ears yet. :P But it is all good. Just remember there are a few old farts in here who might be able to help you along the way also.
--
Once we IPv6 enable every device on the Internet we will have toasters, baby monitors, and security cameras joining the bot nets which today are populated only by idiots that can not refrain from clicking, "Yes I would like to see those titties..."

rconaway8

join:2005-11-10
Phoenix, AZ
reply to Jim_in_VA

Here we go again with your assumptions.

1) I have rural customers as well as suburban customers. I also have consulted and designed for rural areas that are so remote, running water is a luxury. Different business model.

2) The number I got was from Connected America 2 years ago. However, the definition of that is not clear but the reality is that the majority of clients are not in the rural areas.

3) Why do you think I don't analyze all sorts of different models? However, the problem right now is that the vast majority of those models were built for rural environments with little wireline competition. They have been done to death and there is little growth left in those areas without new thinking. Mesh was an idea that has also come and gone. It's great for advertising, terrible for profitability because of the FCC rules and physics.

The next great frontier is suburbs for the WISPs. In addition, and here is a huge clue, there is always a market for the lowest cost provider. We all think that wireline is unbeatable but never consider their costs and business pressures.

Fiber is expensive to build and other than Kansas City who basically dropped their drawers for Google, is expensive to deploy. The ROI is so long in a normal regulatory environment or the monthly cost is so high, the business community isn't investing in it. Either the government subsidizes it or it takes someone like Google who can toss away $100,000,000 likes it chicken feed, fully knowing they aren't going to be profitable for many, many years.

Cable providers love their triple play solutions. That also come with regulation, taxes, and the inevitable ESPN price increases every time a new contract comes up. Now throw in competition from Dish and Direct TV, and their costs, thus the consumer costs, are going to keep going up.

DSL is another matter. Copper wire is old everywhere which is why Verizon dumped it. Nobody is willing to pay to fix it. Some companies are moving fiber closer to the home to cut down on the copper distance for the user but in reality, they aren't going to get much better than 20Mbps.

We whine about our issue but don't look at our advantages. So you are rural. It's hard to get signal there. I get it. Use your imagination and find solutions if you really want to compete. Figure out a way to do bonded 900MHz channels from multiple sources with 2 radios on a house, create more relay points, trade vertical assets for bandwidth, etc... You want a battle, try running a WISP with Comcast and CenturyLink as your competitors, both offering $20 packages and massive direct advertising. Try to be the guy squeezed between that and tell me how you survive. I posted my solution and it's been very successful. My original estimates were 15% market share and I'm revising that up now to 20% for 2013.



DaDawgs
Premium
join:2010-08-02
Deltaville, VA
reply to DaDawgs

said by DaDawgs:

I hope you have helped others along the way as well. I know I have. I'm not attacking you. I am suggesting to you that maybe you have an issue which prevents you from hearing all the other brilliant voices who post here, just as I once did.

The WISP community is a vibrant community which has been growing since Marlon first figured out and explained to many of us how to do dry pair DSL circuits. There are a *LOT* of people who read this forum who remember that time because they were already figuring out and DESIGNING the specs for PoE. They were already figuring out and DESIGNING APs which resided at the top of the tower rather than the bottom. You my young friend stand on the shoulders of GIANTS and you haven't even noticed their ears yet. :P But it is all good. Just remember there are a few old farts in here who might be able to help you along the way also.


--
Once we IPv6 enable every device on the Internet we will have toasters, baby monitors, and security cameras joining the bot nets which today are populated only by idiots that can not refrain from clicking, "Yes I would like to see those titties..."
Expand your moderator at work

rconaway8

join:2005-11-10
Phoenix, AZ
reply to jcremin

Re: How many times have you seen this...

Actually, I was addressing DaDawg but since you mentioned it, let's discuss it. When you have competitors that do billions of dollars of sales every year, you have to decide

1) Is it possible to compete - sometimes it's not simply because of financials, laws of physics, or the FCC doing more stupid things or corrupt things to screw up the free market.
2) If possible, what kind of competitor do you want to be. Everyone wants sole market share but those days are long gone. If you are remote, see line 1.
3) You can always buy marketshare if you are sure your competitors aren't going to do the same thing and drive you out of business. However, sometimes it's what you need to get in the door.

Sitting on your hands and waiting for the inevitable is useless. If it's not financially or technically feasible, walk and get into another line of business. If you read my last 2 articles, you can see that in this environment, I chose to focus my product and compete. Every environment is different and sometimes it's just not possible. When that is the case, then don't waste time for a lost cause. Go find another cause.

Expand your moderator at work


superdog
I Need A Drink
Premium,MVM
join:2001-07-13
Lebanon, PA

1 recommendation

reply to Jim_in_VA

Re: How many times have you seen this...

Oh my! I only stop by once in a blue moon. Today is that moon, Lol. After reading the comments that have been made, I decided to throw in my $.02. So far, everything bad that happens to a WISP has happened to me. From learning things the hard way to seeing Comcast trucks roll into a development that I just got done lighting up 3 months earlier or having my Uncle who was a big shot at Verizon tell me about the remote DSLAM's that were being installed in the middle of nowhere (That nowhere happened to be my service area).

I have met and talked with people Like Marlon and a few other major players from the "Good 'Ole Days" when this business was very young. I have gone to Washington DC to meet with the FCC. I have spent hours on the phone with other people who had in interest in our business from vendors to Senators and even local politicians who wanted to further the reach of Broadband. I have had fights with local municipalities who think they are special and above the law when it comes to using SCADA systems that take the entire 900Mhz spectrum to send a few bytes of data. This is just a small amount of hurdles that I have crossed to keep my WISP up and running!

With that being said, the idea of starting a business in a perfect world is a joke. While it is VERY frustrating to see an area you just spent lots of $$ and time on to light up now have access to cable and DSL, it is a fact of life.

There are ways to make $$ in this biz. It isn't easy, nor will it ever be for that matter. No amount of bickering on this forum will change that fact. Each passing day another couple of thousand access points come home from Office Depot and get plugged in and turned on. Each one of those AP's adds more noise to an already noisy environment.

You need to think ahead and look at every possible angle that you can use to sell your services. You need to design links that will take the amount of noise in the air today, tomorrow and 2 years from now. I have always been an advocate of micro-cells and is what I use. Maybe it is why I am still here today? I am still in business and have most of the customers I started with back in 2001.

There is enough room for everyone. The big telcos and cable CO's are using every trick in the book so why shouldn't you? IMHO, every home that has a satellite dish on it is a customer, especially in suburban and rural areas. They are already comfortable with stuff coming from the sky, so getting them to use your services should be easy?

Find a local satellite installer or retailer. Explain that by offering both TV and internet, it is a win-win for both of you. This is just one method of being inventive. There are many others. We need to spend our time trading ideas like this, NOT discussing or debating a bunch of facts and figures? There are some very smart people who post here. While I do understand that some topics will raise your blood pressure more than others, (as I myself have been involved in a few heated debates over the years) I hope that by keeping our focus on things that work and avoiding topics that do not, we can keep this industry around for a few more years.
--
»www.wavecrazy.net