I think part of the reason attendance was so low was for the lack of advertising. Unless you were on certain lists there was very little mention of WISPCON. Plus the fact that previous shows were canceled made it so not a lot of wireless providers even expected there would be another show. Someone made an off handed remark there was going to be a WISPCON but that was something like a week before the show was expected to take place.

I could be wrong but that is my take on it.

Dawn DiPietro

Jeff Broadwick wrote:
It is really unfortunate that more people didn't go.  Despite the low
attendance, the speaker slate was terrific.  Fat Tuesday was very
"interesting" as well!

-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Tom DeReggi
Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 12:24 AM
To: WISPA General List
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Wireless ISP's

Unfortunately, WISPCON has not evolved with the industry...

By attendance, maybe he hasn't. But I'd argue, he's attempting to. His show
topics were very different than previous shows, attempting to evolve/expand
to the enw relevent market segments which utilize Wireless technology.  SO
he may not have yet EVOLVED, but he is EVOLVING.

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

----- Original Message -----
From: "Charles Wu" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <>
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 10:09 AM
Subject: RE: [WISPA] Wireless ISP's

IMO, a lot of it has to do with changes within the industry and the perception of what a "WISP" is...

The technical definition of a WISP is a Wireless Internet Service Provider, or anyone who puts a stick up somewhere (tower, AP, etc) and delivers broadband service via wireless medium to customer endpoints (fixed or mobile). If you think about it, Marlon is just as much of a WISP as is Travis Johnson as is Tom DeReggi as is the Rural Telco using wireless as is XO as is Clearwire.

However, the perception of a "WISP" is more so than just a wireless service provider, over time, the definition of a "WISP" has evolved to represent a specific type of service provider. Specifically, for better or for worse, the broader industry has come to classify the "WISP" as a "cowboy" startup operator who builds his POPs with duck-tape and bailing wire and is using unlicensed frequencies to "rebel" against the Telco / Cableco.

Reality is a bit different...Motorola Canopy shipped their 1 millionth SM last April, the Pew report from last year gave a number representing that 5-6% of all broadband subscribers in the United States are being serviced by

Broadband Wireless...reality is that a lot of people like Travis Johnson or Jon Langeler or Tom DeReggi or Jon Scrivner (and probably at least 60% of this listserv) have businesses that are going concerns and run reliable and professional broadband wireless networks, make an honest and decent living and are still growing at a pretty nice rate.

So here's the interesting part

A lot of you who know me from the years know that I started a WISP in the Chicago land area back in the late 90s, and that I sold the network in late 2004 (if you didn't, you know now). The people who bought my WISP were former Telco / CLEC guys (the main guy was the former president of Nextlink USA / XO Communications). After buying my network, they did an interesting rebranding initiative...they were no longer a "WISP" -- rather, they call themselves an "independent wireless network operator." -- results of this rebranding initiative (and by wearing suits), they raised $3.5 million and tripled ARPU growth and are doing, IMO, a pretty good job dominating the market here.

Are we splitting hairs...perhaps, but in many instances...perception is reality

For example -- when the industry hears "Wireless Network Operator" -- they think of the following types of companies

When the industry hears "WISP" -- they think of the following types of companies

Now, the reality of the situation is that both "types" of companies are doing EXACTLY the same thing, and in most cases, both "types" of companies do it EXACTLY the same way (same type of infrastructure, same quality network, etc). but for many (specifically the more profitable higher ARPU "mainstream" customers), product packaging is as important as product quality.

What I've seen is that as the industry has matured and grown, a lot of people this "WISP" category, being smart business people, have realized this

and are (consciously or unconsciously) trying to move their business from being perceived as a "WISP" to being perceived as a "Wireless Network Operator"

So what does all this have to do with the topic at hand?

The original question was as follows

I was just wandering.  I have heard that wireless ISP's are on the
decline and most of the ones that remain are selling out or just
holding there own.  Is that true?  I heard there were not as many at
the last wispcon due to that.

To answer that, WISPCON has always been more of an informal type show, and can be seen as a reflection of the state of the "WISP" cowboy -- to answer the question, yes, the number of "startup cowboys" is definately on the decline. However, this is not due to the industry "shrinking" or WISPs "failing" -- but rather, it has occured b/c of the evolution of the "WISP" from "boot-strapped startup" to "going concern."

Unfortunately, WISPCON has not evolved with the industry...



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