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. --