Fair warning, a post like this reflects a large ego by its very nature,
but it comes from a committed champion of WISPs none-the-less....For
God's sake, please don't post any "thanks for your efforts" type
replies. I'm not fishing for them or public appreciation in general,
though I do appreciate the thoughts of those so inclined. Those inclined
to be critical, go for it, but offlist is best as this post is
gag-worthy as it is. I just wanted to fully explain why I do what I do,
wrong or not.

So after all this rancor and railing, I wanted to close today with a
post about some of things I love about this business and WISPs in
particular. Let me explain it by telling you that for me it is not
unlike when I was an enlisted soldier in the Army (alas, too many years
ago). In the military one lives among people from all walks of life; it
was the rule, not the exception, that even in a unit as small as any one
platoon I'd be among former inner-city gang bangers, cowboys, country
boys, beach bums, suburban college drop-outs (I was one of those at the
time), hillbillies, former refugees, and a few Puerto Ricans and
Samoans. Outside of the service, we had little in common, or less. But
there we all wore green. We all toiled in the paradoxical boredom of
maintain gear and training, largely in the hope that we'd really never
need to use those things we kept squared away. 

My brothers-in-arms could get on my nerves second only to my little
brother, and I often found myself apologizing to the locals overseas in
the wake of my peers' youthful boorishness and cluelessness about
offending our host nationals. But put those guys together and they could
do anything, they could build a machine from the dirt; they could solve
any problem. I discovered among them artists, musicians, and any number
of wonderous talents. I would have fought alongside with any of them
(well, almost) and Lord knows I broke up more fights than I can remember
many a late night out, as happens when young, fit and hard-partying men
get bored and get stupid. But because I loved and respected them, I
challenged them and did what I could to pull out their excellence. The
camaraderie and sense of mission we shared was indescribable, as were
the frustrations and conflicts engendered by the nature of tasks and

This market and WISPs are not unlike that to me. I have the great joy of
meeting, knowing, and working with some of the most interesting people
imaginable. WISPs are people that by sheer force of their will and
stubbornness create their own realities. You are not corporate
automatons working just some job to earn your 3 hots and a cot. You
genuinely care about your communities, and with rare exceptions, you are
not just looking for the quick hit off the backs of those your service.
I get that, have always gotten that and I get enormous professional and
personal satisfaction knowing I am playing and have played a not
inconsequential role in literally nurturing this market. I've had the
joy of witnessing and participating in the growth of many, many WISPs
regardless of their vendor affiliation - complex and passionate people
like John Scrivner, aka Scriv, from his first moments in this business
to his current role as WISP sage and literal grandfather. This market
and my work have earned me the friendships of a fantastic cast of
characters that enrich my life on a daily basis.

I live here in the vendor world though, and while I appreciate you may
have perspectives to which I cannot have, I am also daily witness to
what is happening in the other sides of this business, the really big
money rolling in. And while I know many of you are happy to remain
small, and there is zero wrong with and nothing to disparage about that,
some of that money IS going to some of your peers who have who have
decided they want to break out of the I'm-just-a-little-guy mindset
enough to actually do it. Nothing but you prevents any of you that would
like to do the same from doing it. It is all about your choices and your
desire. That should be empowering. Your success is NOT in the hands of
the FCC or any other entity; it's in your hands.

I've been here a long time in this space and I watch with some measure
of pain as the WISP community at large has a hell of a time learning
from its mistakes. I have my very first posts archived about an FCC I
intentionally started on the old isp-wireless list (there was no other)
back in April of 2000 and the issues are just the same. The same
characteristics that makes WISPs can-do and self-sufficient is the same
thing that fosters a fatal flaw - that's an abject refusal by so many to
accept authority or otherwise conform to certain norms. WISPs are sort
of like guerillas and in the event you can manage to organize long
enough to defeat the disciplined forces that threaten you, or at least
carve out a solid niche, your nature makes you prone then to again
factionalize (like we've seen happen before). I want to do what I can to
lift WISPs out of that and to become a disciplined force in your own
right, a goal I know WISPA shares (which was why I was the first paying
vendor member).

I know I've a none-to-small arrogance and ego to even make this sort of
post. But the fact is you I care enough and respect you people enough to
tell it like it is from my learned view, for better or worse. I know
first hand that most of my peers have long since been told by their
employers, "Stay off the lists!" out of their company's perceived
self-interest and because they don't have the stomach for it. In my view
it is a credit to my company that it allows me this unfiltered dialogue
with you. I will not tell you what is comfortable, but untrue, just to
schlep another radio. I'm here to build an industry and to drive that
industry to the fore of telecom. The part of that industry I've chosen
is all WISP all the time. YOU have my full attention. And while I'm no
altruist, I damned sure don't do this (engage WISPs at this level of
commitment) just in the hopes that one day I can plant an Alvarion flag
atop WISP Mountain. I do this so that one day I can look back with
sinful pride and say, if only to myself, "Look at what I helped to
build!" and that I did it with total commitment, honor, and
fearlessness, no stone left unturned in the effort, no idea left
untested. And if that occasionally means trying to wrestle some of you
into being more professional operators (yes, in my subjective, but
knowledgeable judgment), NOT into submission, then I'm going to try from
time to time.

Have a good night. Tomorrow I'll keep it light.

Patrick Leary
****A V P   W I S P****  Markets

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