Monday, December 28, 2009

National Broadband Plan Leaving Out WISPs?

Every WISP who is interested in continuing in business should look at the recent interview with Blair Levin, director of the team which is crafting the National Broadband Plan, at

National Broadband Plan

Note that the plan, in its current form, seems to be strongly biased toward fiber for all fixed deployment and the cellular companies for all mobile deployment. There was not the slightest mention of fixed wireless. There has been no mention of spectrum, support, or even a level playing field for WISPs.

The plan is due to be released in less than 60 days. WISPs, this is your last chance. If your industry doesn't weigh in heavily at the FCC ASAP, the government's plan for the broadband industry could well put you all out of business.

Personally I really don't see WISPs part of their plan. The Federal government likes consistency, not a rag tag collection of mom and pop operations all over the place that would be impossible to regulate, much less keep track of.

WISPs are most profitable as the last five mile mile solution in rural areas where you are not going to see fiber for at least the next several generations of WISP products (they are getting less expansive every year). So even if the telcos and cable companies did get a free ride of tax payer money to deploy, WIPS are still viable.

So what happens years from now? Do you think telcos and cable companies can meet your price points? Sure, you can get DSL and cable internet for as low as $19 per month...BUT, thats as a bundle, not naked lines.

Do you think the cellular companies will offer more than 10 GB monthly service? I doubt that.

In one sense, the more WISPs are ignored, the less of a threat you appear. Thus less effort will be done to shut you out.

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