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Phoenix, AZ
reply to Jim_in_VA

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

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.

Deltaville, VA
·Metrocast Commun..
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..."
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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.
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I Need A Drink
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.