Hi Jason,

Lots of pics here:
http://odessaoffice.com/wireless/ If you use any of them kindly give me credit....

First off, you should explain to these guys that you are putting up what amounts to a home weather station. There's NO need for you to build a "real" tower on a hill side. This is important because there's also no need for you to fall under the same engineering requirements as the cell phone companies. (I'll also note that the requirements they've placed here seem designed to keep providers out rather than encourage them to come to town.)

The most you'll need to service one or two small areas from a hill is a utility pole and there's no need for any kind of engineering study when sticking them in the ground eh?

Access to the site is YOUR problem not theirs. Especially if it's a remote solar powered site. If there's no access then you assume the liability and risk for fire etc. If they can't get there to put a fire out and you loose everything that's your problem not theirs.

Why should contractors be required if you can do the work yourself? Tell them that you are your own contractor.

Federally, you don't need any licenses or permits for the system you are building. You probably do need a business license for your area but that's it. There's no reason for them to require a permit for every radio or antenna you hang. Just get a site permit and I'd think that should do.

Here's what I've done in the past..... I had a town that wanted $1500 per month in tower rent (for the top of the water tower) and $5,000,000 in insurance coverage. I told them that I'd love to be able to pay that, but with service rates of $35 per month there was just no way that I could. I also said that I really wanted to help make their community a better one and offer some competition in the broadband market. They had to help me though. We had to work as partners. In the end, it's the voters and tax payers that win.

My counter proposal to them was free internet for all city buildings (shop, town hall, library, police etc.). Our existing $1,000,000 insurance coverage and NON exclusive use of the tower.

We have done this with two towns in the area now. Our contract states that we have to shut down if we cause interference to ANYONE in the area when we turn our system on. We then have to fix the interference issue before we can light up again. (this was done to prove that we're interested in being a good neighbor) Our contract does say that if anyone else goes up on the towers they can't interfere with us either. I showed them how small our antennas were compared to what they were thinking and they let me go with my current insurance coverage. They buy the hardware for any sites that they want lit up, but we provide all access and we do some computer work for them when they ask. No charge.

I really leaned on the idea that we're here with low prices and that we want to keep it that way. We also want to help the town grow economically and having the ability for people to live in the small towns while working for big city companies or being self employed but selling outside of the area are great ways to help the community to thrive.

Hope that helps.
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----- Original Message ----- From: "Jason" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 11:10 AM
Subject: [WISPA] Being the WISP Ambassador In My County...Your InputRequested...


In a few days I am meeting with county officials to address the regulations, building codes, and permitting process for WISP's. When I first approached them over a year ago with the desire to build a tower-less AP on a hill side (electrical cabinet, solar, sector antenna - very simple...), I was handed the building regulations for "Wireless Communications Facilities", ie, cell phone towers (think $50k+, & contractors are the only ones who can touch it). I then tried to explain that what I am doing is of a different scope and scale, but no dice. Now, after being patient and pursuing the right contacts, I will get my 5 minutes. The people I am meeting with are only vaguely aware of wireless internet technology and didn't seem to know what exactly I was talking about (although there are several wisps operating in the large cities in the county, where the codes are the most rigid...). Over the phone I explained it in terms of, "outdoor, large-scale wifi", and that people install $200 AP's on grain silos, and that the $50k per AP just is not a good fit for this emerging industry. They seemed very open and even glad that someone would address this, even mentioning reforming the regulations because of the "increasing technology".

Therefore, I have inadvertently become the WISP ambassador in my County, if only for a moment, and I want to do it right. Will you help me prepare for this meeting? They would like pictures, drawings, etc. Also, I want to have a good outline of what we, as the operators and constructors, think the building requirements should be. I especially want to contrast the shortcomings of the cell tower regulations on topics such as:

1. Site Access & Off-The-Street parking: they want a 2 lane road to all "commercial structures". I'd like to have to take a ATV 2 hours up a cliff and repel down the side just as a vandalism deterrent (a little exaggerated of course, but the great AP sites are all the toughest to get to). 2. Contractors Do All The Work: I want to build the unit myself, turn-key style; if a contractor has to sit it on the ground or bolt it to a pole that's OK.

3. Permit Required: Do I need a permit for every AP? Do the mesh/muni guys have to apply for a permit with full engineering drawings, site plan showing all utilities, & signatures of every property owner within 1000' (the cell tower regs require this...), and a public hearing that has a 3 month wait list?

4.  6' tall fence around all AP's: no explanation necessary.

5. Operational Certificate By a Professional Engineer: Mostly wind load language here...

6. Being Bonded To An Insurer For The Price Of Removal: In case you abandon your "tower", to pay for someone to take it down.

The area I am trying to serve is rural and mostly a retirement community with low income. My service has to match. It has to be built cheaply, and the regs just don't allow it, not for anyone that wants a ROI.

Any ideas are more than welcome, and if my documents turn out good enough, I'll submit them to the list for others to recycle during their 5 minutes.
Sorry for writing a novel,
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