I do not see the upside to any Muni-Wifi Project for WISPs.
Unless, the Muni is providing the funds to grant to the WISP that wins the RFP. Even if RFP required a Small Business set aside portion in proposal (for example 25% of opportunity must be contracted out to third party local WISPs), it would not be enough. Most new Muni projects are only offering non-cash assets, that established WISPs likely already have in some equivellent shape or form. I embrace Muni Wifi, only for the reason that I loose less, if I get involved.

By getting involved...
WISPs have the opportunity to protect the wireless broadband reputation, by encouraging best practices. WISPs have the opporuntiy to incourage non-interference and co-existence, by gaining good will with parties involved. WISPs have the opportunity to delay progress, by bring up relevent issues that need addressing before deployments would be successful (Buying time).

It doesn't have to be that way, but it is, because legislators are to worried about conserving tax dollars to win elections than they are about putting tax dollars to good use to help the success of an industry that would indirectly help the public. The exception to this, are the WISPs going after grants and loans, where the local governement becomes a partner to help secure the requirements for receiving federal or state funding.

The other reason this is the case is that high volume projects are structured to reduce profit margin. Once that happens, its a commodity price business, just like everything else where service no longer matters.

I will say that Muni networks will likely help some under preveledged areas get broadband, where they currently couldn't. So some public will benefit. But I don't see how the WISP will end up winning. It may create jobs for skilled Wireless techs, who's previous companies got put out of business. The worst part of Muni Wireless is that it will substancially kill the abilty for funding options to independent WISPs. If their is a public funded Wifi Project, it will be impossible for independant WISPs to get funding support from Governements to compete against the public project. It wouldn't be politically correct.

I actually think Muni Wireless will be rather Ironic at the end of the day. Many WISPs spent years trying to get easements from governement assets, ending up empty handed. Only for easements to eventually be given to the goliath company that wins the RFP. You know, the company that wouldn't deliver broadband to mcuh of the needy consumers the first 5 years, which was the reason for the start of WISP companies in the first place. There is no loyalty in this business, is my opinion.

Whats most ironic about it, is Muni Wireless is often nomadic in technical design. Most likely WiMax(e) Mobile will replace the architecture, and most of the Muni Projects will just have to be rebuilt again, 2 years down the road, to compete with the Telcos for nomadic broadband services.

A better approach, would be for the federal Government to require all MTU property owners to deploy or contract to deploy a minimum of 2 broadband options to their buildings. And then let the WISPs or those moving fastest start taking orders. Public assets are not whats needed, its private MTU owners's assets taht are needed for mass adoption.

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband

----- Original Message ----- From: "John Scrivner" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2006 1:50 PM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Ma Bell's About Face On Muni-WiFi

Matt Liotta wrote:

Patrick Leary wrote:

We are on the same page, trust me. There has yet to be a solidly working
civic access muni network. By solidly, I mean indoor coverage without
forced buying of a secondary CPE. We have also yet to see a successfully
scaled mesh network for low cost civic access. Philly and San Fran are
still on paper only. These networks are able to provide good outdoor
coverage only so far. That is also why we like playing the multipoint
backhaul layer. We can reliably deliver that middle layer and get high
connectivity for the mesh nodes, fixed cameras, traffic lights, a city
buildings, but the success of the Wi-Fi layer is beyond our control and
remains the questionable piece.

What happens to Alvarion when these networks fail? Does the market get flooded with your radios for pennies on the dollar? Does it make customers question the viability of wireless operators in general? We are certainly questioned routinely on why we will succeed when WinStar and others failed.


Why should the networks all fail? If they provide easy mobile access to WiFi then that is what you design and build them to do. That is what I am doing. If the 4 nodes we turned on today in our downtown provide me with the ability to find a business downtown through the captive portal, allow me to access the Internet to check my email, and allow me to search for other information then it does what it needs to do for me. Define the terms for failure you are predicting. I have yet to see anyone prove that muni-WiFi will fail any more than I have seen anyone prove it will work. Matt, if you are thinking the platform will fail then why are you launching nodes on street lights yourself? Is it just a test system you are building or what? I believe there is too much interest in seeing muni-WiFi as a future platform for it to be a complete failure. I sure would like to see that business plan that shows it failing or prospering though. Neither plan exists as far as I know. It is the great unknown right now.

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