This list is public.  It's going to be out and around.  But I"ll repeat my
posting in response...  There doesn't seem to be all that much overlap
between the lists...
We're all "irked" that we got jerked around a bit by the desk-sitters.
However, this is not all that surprising.   I wrote early on that both FEMA
and ARC are totally top-down organizations, and each is dedicated to using
thier list of contacts in the rolodex, so to speak.

They see "SBC" they think "they're big, they can do it".

The media has the same problem.

The public has the same perception.

Once all this dies down, and I think it'll be 6 mo or more,  there has to be
a process where t he FCC introduces us to the top guys at FEMA, and like the
HAM operators, we get "on the list" of people to call.   The HAM guys are
well organized, they have disaster drills to work outside the box, they have
a lot of flexible technology.   They work in small teams, have a relatively
small organization, and are konwn for nimble movements and the ability to go
anywhere for what they do.

Of course, some of us WISP's do the same kind of  flexible, outside the box
stuff daily.

This business of replacing infrastructure to some remote place with no power
or anything... that's not even a challenge to me.   I can do it as a matter
of course - as can a whole pile of WISP's.   A few are technology locked,
and are the same "one hammer for all nails" that SBC and Time Warner have,
but are very much the exception to this rule.   Especially us RURAL wisp's
who are not even challenged by the thought of not having power, no support
infrastructure, etc, can and should be key players.   We should be called
and on the road meeting t he HAM guys who show up to help us deploy - they
would be the perfect partner.

I wrote once before that if all we did here was create the first large-scale
disaster drill for WISP's, and are never officially tasked, it has been
"worth it".   I still maintain that view.   However, when the beaurocracy
has become so  calcified as it now appears to be, this could be much harder
to accomplish, than any other task we could be asked to do.   Frankly,
lighting up the gulf coast and getting every critical need communication is
child's play, compared to getting the powers that be to recognize that
ability and put it to work.

ONE of the things we MUST do is document, photograph, and then produce a
story of our own, how we did "on the ground"  local-level stuff and how it
can be life-saving in times of urgent need.    This is how and WHAT the HAM
community did.

Well, that's just off the top of my head...  But maybe it's worthy of


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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Stroh" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <>
Sent: Sunday, September 11, 2005 7:57 AM
Subject: [WISPA] Kelly WISP Incident

> (While I haven't followed the WISPA list very closely lately, I saw
> some postings there about Kelly that led me to believe that I should
> also post this on the WISPA General list. It was originally posted to
> the emergency-relief list.)
> On Saturday, September 7, 2005, the team of WISPs pre-positioned at the
> former Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas to provide Internet
> access for the large Hurricane Katrina relief camp there discovered
> that SBC has been onsite at Kelly for approximately one week installing
> communications infrastructure. SBC personnel stated that SBC would be
> able to provide all telephone and Internet access that the relief camp
> will need.
> To understand this turn of events, a brief sequence of events is in
> order.
> 1) In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the FCC requested various
> entities nominally under its jurisdiction to keep it informed of
> capabilities and plans to restore communications in the affected area.
> 2) PART-15.ORG responded to the FCC request, explaining that WISPs in
> the affected area were asking for donated systems and labor to provide
> Internet access to relief shelters and key agencies such as law
> enforcement agencies whose facilities were no longer usable or
> operational.
> 3) Following up on PART-15.ORG’s input, the FCC requested PART-15.ORG
> to submit more detailed “capabilities” documentation. As part of such
> documentation, a “template” plan for providing communications to the
> recently designated relief shelter at Kelly Air Force Base was
> included. The “Kelly plan” would provide wireless backhaul, inter-base
> distribution, Wi-Fi in all shelter areas, VOIP telephony, and computers
> for shelter resident use, most of which would be operational within 48
> hours of access to the base.
> 4) The FCC was impressed with the “Kelly plan”, enough so to provide
> it to ARC Headquarters IT staff.
> 5) On Saturday, September 3, PART-15.ORG was told by the FCC that
> “The Kelly Plan is a go.” (Exact quote.)
> 6) Within 24 hours of “Go”, PART-15.ORG mobilized volunteers,
> donations, and began developing a management infrastructure to manage
> the numerous and overlapping tasks.
> 7) For an entire week, the growing team of WISPs contacted Kelly
> personnel, made technology plans, arranged logistics, and everything
> else they could do without actual access onto the base. PART-15.ORG
> tried continuously to arrange access through their FCC contacts, and
> the local team pressed on its local contacts to arrange access.
> 8) On Saturday, Sepember 10, the team of WISPs learns of SBC’s work
> at Kelly.
> Learning of SBC’s work at Kelly was disheartening, to say the least.
> For one, the WISP team came fully prepared to install infrastructure
> equivalent to SBC’s efforts, but based on Wireless Internet technology,
> enabling the installation to be largely complete within 48 hours of
> access to the facilities… stymied only by lack of access to Kelly.
> One of the most disturbing things about “Kelly WISP incident” is that
> the FCC and ARC squandered WISP industry resources by requesting
> support for Kelly- resources that would have otherwise been deployed to
> support WISPs working directly in the affected areas. The WISP
> community invested great effort in mobilizing resources to Kelly –
> equipment, labor, design time, formation of an extended management
> team, numerous conference calls, time taken away from jobs resulting in
> missed paychecks, submission of endless revisions of paperwork to the
> FCC, the sleepless nights spent planning for Kelly… the list goes on.
> It’s small consolation that PART-15.ORG learned a lot from the “Kelly
> WISP Incident” about how to put together a distributed organization.
> In the aftermath of the “Kelly WISP Incident”, PART-15.ORG has now
> redirected the portions of its assembled resources for Hurricane
> Katrina Relief that were intended for Kelly and other FCC and ARC
> requests into direct support of WISPs operating in the affected areas,
> as WISPA has done from the beginning.
> It seems to me that that in widespread disasters, organizations on the
> scale of PART-15.ORG, WISPA, and indeed the entire WISP industry may
> not be able to, by their nature, effectively interface with very large
> organizations on the scale of ARC and FEMA, and probably the FCC. There
> seems to be too great a mismatch between the WISP industry and its:
> * bias for action,
> * distributed membership that can see the conditions in an affected
> area and rapidly report them, and
> * ability to quickly mobilize support in the affected areas from fellow
> WISPs and the WISP industry to rapidly implement emergency
> communications with minimal overhead
> In vivid contrast, the large organizations are:
> * biased toward extended analysis, planning, and process,
> * hierarchical – key decisions about what is needed are made at the top
> instead of in the field,
> * responses are implemented on a strategic scale, which takes time.
> Where the stakes are so high and time is short, the two may well be
> simply incompatible.
> To clear up any potential misconception, this is Steve Stroh’s account
> of the “Kelly WISP Incident”. Any errors in fact are mine. I asked
> Michael Anderson for some clarification on points, and Michael knew
> that I would be posting this message, but he did not have any
> substantial input into what I was going to say, nor has he seen or
> approved the content of this message before it was posted to the list.
> I request that you not make this message public. I will be putting out
> a more generic “WISPs weren’t needed at Kelly, redirecting those
> resources to directly support WISPs” statement for public consumption
> soon. I felt strongly that the direct participants in PART-15.ORG’s
> efforts relating to Kelly were owed a complete explanation and getting
> this out to the lists was my first priority.
> Thanks,
> Steve
> ---
> Steve Stroh
> 425-939-0076 | Skype: stevestroh2 | [EMAIL PROTECTED] |
> -- 
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