I agree, our environments are different, each allowing each of us to deliver different business models, each appropriate for our own markets. 
One of the things I'm learning is, as a wireless provider, I live in the wrong town :-)
I'd make more money in this business, if I moved to an underserved area! 
But I believe in competition, evolution and survival of the fittest.  Our competitive environment hardens us. We are adapting to our environment in order to survive, and hopefully one day as a result, we will thrive.  Getting better every day.
PS. Like the home tower plan.
Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Re: CPE Cost Ideas Needed

>$59.95 per month small business, no contrac
I'm not sure how that is a good thing. Risk with no contract, and no margin to justify the risk. 
If its a retail place with 1 or 2 computers we got a asyncronis plan for $99, but won't pick up the phone for less than $150.
> $899 including a 70ft bracketed tower. 
That I want to see. Whats the breakdown of your budget for it? And time for erection?

256Kbit/sec up/down.   Small business is less than 6 computers.  What risk?  equipment and such are totally covered by the install costs.... 

tower sections, $75 each x 7= $525.  Concrete $35.  Bracket $35.  Misc. rebar, bolts, gravel, mast, clamps and such $25.  total tower parts... $620
Shipping?  no.  Truck delivery from a local dist who makes a delivery loop each week

Radio equipment and antenna varies from $150-250.  Average = $200 

Labor 4-8 man-hours.  Average is 6.  $25 per man-hour.  Labor = $150

Total cost is $970.  Cust pays $899 upfront.  our normal install labor costs are paid for by the first months service charge of $39.95.  On the towers, we accept the the first 2 month service charge is labor recovery.

In this county, no permits required for 70 ft or less.  No additional fees.  And tower install, (for a bracketed tower), is a flat $899.  often, the tower is only 40-50 ft, saving us the cost of 2-3 sections as well as the extra labor.

Install time for a bracketed tower is 2-4 weeks, depending on time of year and weather conditions.

We are a small shop.  on some things, we can do well on our pricing.  On others, like the 900MHz systems I am looking at, our lack of size hurts us bad.......

Tom DeReggi wrote:
Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, April 07, 2006 3:20 PM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Re: CPE Cost Ideas Needed

I have to agree with Mark here.  We are using the same model he is and we have more work than we know what to do with....

$39.95 per month home, no contract /  $59.95 per month small business, no contract /  Higher rates for special services and/or special QoS, contract required

Installs start at $199 and range to $899 including a 70ft bracketed tower.  Special cases go higher.... One subdivision just approved $5500 for a freestanding tower to serve their 30 homes in a small valley.  We own all radio equipment.

We clear our equipment and supplies cost for any new install from the install fee.  Sometimes, when we 'recycle' a radio, we even make money on an install, but we don't plan on it.  The labor part of the install is covered by the first month or so's fees.

We allow self install if the customer buys his own equipment.  No setup charges for self install but unit must be approved prior to install and must meet our snr requirements.

We no longer try to compete head-to-head with the cable or telephone companies.  They can have the $15 per month bottom feeders.  There is way too much churn in those markets for us.

Another thing that helps us is that we are more than an ISP.  We are a full service computer shop as well.  When our customer calls in with a problem, and the radio gear checks out, we don't pass them off as a problem in your computer, we hand the call to our computer tech who can usually diagnose the problem over the phone.  If we go out and the problem is in the computer, not our radio equipment, we waive the service call charge if the customer has our shop fix the computer, and we will pick it up for free since we are there.

We credit a new customers first months service charge as a discount to the referring customer..... 

We started out getting 4-5 calls a month for new service.  We now get 5-7 a WEEK.  All word of mouth.  Make friends with the real estate agents.  Give them flyers to give to their clients.  Work hard to get the local, small businesses as clients.  They will give you all the free, word of mouth advertising you can use.  They will also let pass out your flyers to their customers....

It works for us....  We now offer service anywhere in our county.  We built our network with our own private funds.  No government handouts.  We are profitable, and have less than $10K in debt.  We will retire that debt this year.

Mark Nash wrote:
Doesn't it depend on your customer base?  Did we hear that this is a small
town?  Your way of doing things is like mine.  Show value and provide a good
service and you will have very little churn in your customers.  There are a
number of small towns (1k-4k population) that I service, but once we went
into the larger town (200k), we would have to give it away, longer ROI on
the CPE, lower margin, etc.  And the customers are more snobby when they are
used to being overserved by the larger companies (telco & cable).

Being a small company, I have found that our initial focus is the best for
us: small towns & rural area.  We have a nice valley that
(topographically-speaking) supports this well.  We are members of the
chambers of commerce, our kids have played sports together, see each other
in the grocery store, etc.  I have even gone so far as to work with the
local hardware store to carry most of the general items that I use such as
RJ45's, weatherproof tape, zip-ties, mounting screws & such.

We charge $44.95 for a residential/mom & pop-type business with a $199
installation.  We give a $25 credit to an existing customer who refers a new
customer to us, and that new customer gets $25 off of their installation fee
just for being referred.  Works great.  No contract...provide a good service
and don't give people a reason to think about changing if they have a

This works for a small-town environment, but as I said, it all changes if
you're going after a larger town/city/whatever.  Then it's harder to sell
your value at a higher price.  You can do it, it just takes more.

I believe that without a significant amount of funding available up front,
a WISP would be crazy to try to come in at $25 per month.  Consider that you
may get 1 to 2 customers per month in the beginning until your advertising &
word-of-mouth gets going (4-10 months depending on how much $$$ you sink
into it).  Then it will 'surge' to 4-6 customers per month.  What I'm saying
here is go conservative at first, make some $$$, then re-evaluate your
cost/revenue model.  If you overestimate, you'll be frustrated for a long,
long time with the lack of funding you will have to do things.

Now is a GREAT time to start a WISP.  The major factor in expansion has
always been CPE cost, CPE cost, CPE cost.  When we started in 2001, it was
like $600.  Things went very, very, slowly because noone was willing to pay
for the equipment.  So unless we wanted to go further into debt, we had to
grow at a snail's pace after we were covering our costs.

I'm sure there's a spreadsheet that has been generated here for costs vs.
revenue.  Consider potential vs. reality & play it safe and you may not be

Mark Nash
Network Engineer
350 Holly Street
Junction City, OR 97448
541-998-5599 fax

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "JohnnyO" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'WISPA General List'" <>
Sent: Friday, April 07, 2006 5:34 AM
Subject: RE: [WISPA] Re: CPE Cost Ideas Needed

I'm shooting at offering 1.5 Mbps service at around $24.95 and
offering VOIP for another $24.95 if they so choose.  So the
competition hasn't a chance against me if I can get around that $350
CPE cost.

IMNSHO - If you are trying to "compete" you will fall on your face in a
heartbeat. We charge more then the competition and we do so for a
reason. Our installs start at $250 for a 'basic' install. Our monthly
rates are atleast $10-$15/more then the DSL or Cable offerings in our
area. We avoid the bottom feeders this way. We could double or triple
our subscriber count within 12mos if we would drop down $15/mo for our
service but I refuse to do that. "Volume" of low end subscribers becomes
a very costly support decision.

I refuse to compete on pricing - we are local - we hire local people -
we donate and support the local sports teams / associations. We shake
our subscribers hands in the stores / at gas pumps / baseball games. We
pump $$ into the local business's for our supplies, materials.

$24.95/mo - If I were you - I would SERIOUSLY rethink your business
model. Oh - we also don't have contracts - We do have a TOS, but have
found there is really no reason to get subscribers to committ. If we do
our job - they will stay - if we fail to support them as we've promised
- they will bail. Kinda helps keep us on our toes :)


-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Pete Davis
Sent: Friday, April 07, 2006 6:50 AM
To: WISPA General List
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Re: CPE Cost Ideas Needed

Joshua M. Andrews wrote:

Thank you for the information.  The areas of DSL are very spotty and
cable is very inexpensive and unreliable.  Many people are upset at
both situations.  DSL is offered for about $30 per month with purchase
of a DSL "modem" at around $50 or so and a 1 year contract is
required.  Cable service rents you the modem for $10 per month and
charges $40 per month for service on top of that ($50 per month total
for those of you out there in other posts that think half-duplex is as
good a full-duplex).

I'm shooting at offering 1.5 Mbps service at around $24.95 and
offering VOIP for another $24.95 if they so choose.  So the
competition hasn't a chance against me if I can get around that $350
CPE cost.



Thank you for the detailed response.  I appreciate you taking the time
to comment.  I don't want to be rude but I took a look at your website
and it needs some work. :(
In any case, I think you have a point.  Could you elaborate more on
what you meant by going with a 802.11b AP/CPE.  Do you mean you are
shooting a signal out to an area using WaveRider and then distributing
it via another 802.11b AP from there?  I think your right about
contracts and install fees and it sounds like your saying that I'm
just going to have to eat the cost and extend my ROI per user.  Thanks

900Mhz client to 802.11b AP to 802.11b client is one scenario, but I
would also put 802.11b APs on the main tower. If you put up a $300 AP
and 5 $150 CPE, you will be doing better ($220 average customer
equipment cost) than a purely Waverider network. You should be able to
do better than 5 clients per AP.

Yes my website needs work, but we always have more installs that we
possibly have time to get to. When we get caught up on installs, we will

revamp the website to bring more in.

I wouldn't count on giving 1.5M to every customer on your network over
Waverider. I have played with every GOS setting I can come up with, and
cannot MAINTAIN over 1Mbps connectivity to multiple clients.

I would also consider the thought that you don't have to be the cheapest

ISP in town to be the busiest or the best.. Its gonna take a LOT more
$25/mo clients to get traction than at $40 or $50/mo. I wouldn't install

any customer who will take 12 months to get CFP (cash flow positive,
paying for CPE and installation costs). Not starting out, anyway, unless

I was DESPERATE to get market share. Desperation is almost never a good
position to be in.
I get $39/mo for residential service and $59/$99 for business service.
DSL is cheaper, and in one area, Cablemodem is cheaper. We still stay
busy with new customers, and we don't put in a new tower until the last
tower is CFP. More money coming in the door than going out is a big part

(only part?) for successful business. ISP business is no exception. When

you run out of money, you are out of business.
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Blair Davis

AOL IM Screen Name --  Theory240

West Michigan Wireless ISP

A division of:
Camp Communication Services, INC

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Blair Davis

AOL IM Screen Name --  Theory240

West Michigan Wireless ISP

A division of:
Camp Communication Services, INC

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