As the "driver of the bus" I feel compelled to reply. You certainly do a god job of selling your ideas. I could almost decide to mutiny along with you if I did not believe that part of doing business is to obey the laws of the land.

So far the government of the United States has asked some fairly basic things of me and our industry in order to be able to use the airwaves for free in the United States and to freely operate our businesses. They have told me that I must use equipment which has been tested and certified to comply with the rules. They have told me not to exceed power levels. They want to know where we serve and how many people we serve. They want me to help them if they need to catch criminals who are using our networks for planning criminal acts. Each of these requirements seem to be logical things a government would expect of the businesses who serve the people that they represent. I do not like the way many of these things are being handled by our government and I do not like some of the rules but I have no problem complying with these rules and laws.

I feel it is WISPA's job to make sure operators know how to comply with the rules and the laws and to try to lobby for change in the way government interacts with us when we see it is being done wrong. If WISPA ever develops a certification program for WISPs then we will, by default, become somewhat of a policing agency for our industry at least if people acknowledge us as an authority within the industry. The policing authority would not move to the obstructive and intrusive levels as described by you, Mark. It would simply be a self-imposed and recognized certification system which others could support or in your case probably ignore. I am sure part of the certification process would involve an oath that an operator would follow the rules and laws of the country they serve. Any industry trade association who offers a certification process would require the same I would think.

There would only be government recognition of such a system if they opted to recognize it officially in some way. An example might be that a WISPA certified operator might be granted some leeway in mixing and matching certified components in order to build certified systems which may not have been tested in a lab as a system. Another example would be that the FCC might develop band sharing rules where some bands could be coordinated between certified operators. These are only examples for reference sake.

I do not wish to see WISPA become a body which openly attacks fellow operators or works toward "turning in" operators to the government. If the government wants to enforce their rules and laws then they can do that. It is not our job to do that. I do not believe the government has any intentions of using us for that purpose and I would never support such efforts. In short WISPA is not out to get you and never will be.

I think one of WISPA's jobs is to allow some open access for industry debate and discussion about issues. I openly support having Mark and others to air their ideas, even when, and especially when, those ideas conflict with WISPA policy and/or views of leadership. This public list is here to be that forum. To serve the industry we must hear from the industry. WISPA is here to serve our members but it is more important for us to serve the entire industry. That means we have to hear from them and consider what is best for the industry as our first priority.

Mark, thank you for sharing your views. We want to hear them. I certainly hope you find some way of running your business without getting shut down. I worry that your complete shunning of the rules could be your undoing someday. WISPA is not here to stop you though. I certainly would not want my business to be in the jeopardy that you face. You should probably pray that you never have a terrorist or a murderer using your network to plot some murderous act. If the Law Enforcement Agencies cannot track this activity then I am almost sure you will lose your business. Having an uncertified antenna is one thing but ignoring CALEA is one of those things that is a deal breaker with Uncle Sam I am thinking. Good luck with that whole "ignoring the rules" thing you have going there. I do not see much future in it myself.

Mark Koskenmaki wrote:

Peter, your intended meaning for the word...and what I assumed you meant,
were pretty much the same.  I am not "offended" by it, so no worries.

You stated something that I was hoping you'd reveal...  it goes something
like this, the regulators are in pursuit of "control or cooperation".   I'd
like to point out that there's no "cooperation", really.   Oh, a little.
They meet and play politely, but nowhere in this mess do we have a veto over
ANYTHING they propose to demand.   All couched in nice language, but it's
still the man with the gun saying "do it or die".

And, as you rightly point out, somewhere down this road, comes a point of
confrontation.   When the FCC realizes that the great majority simply will
not comply... or, perhaps, cannot, or even more obtusely, don't even know or
care,  these two trains are headed head on down the same track, in opposite

I dunno what it's going to look like, I don't know how public it will be,
but the nature of regulators is to take out non-compliance.   The question
is then, who will WISPA, EFF, etc, etc, stand with?    Court fights between
the FCC and FBI and DOJ, etc, aside, the rubber meets the road when the
deadlines arrive, and I suspect that the vast majority of networks that are
supposed to be compliant are not.  Then what?

As you know, WISPA reprepresents under 200 actual members.  Part 15 has no
huge number either.  At that point, does the FCC start shutting down
THOUSANDS of networks?   If the industry associations take their side...
Yes.  And when or if Part 15 or WISPA takes the side of taking people
down...  Exactly what do you think their future growth will be?

This is going to get ugly, people.   It's going to get REAL ugly, because I
don't think that WISPA will be able to remain on the fence.   I know where
Bullitt stands.  He's already publicly threatened to destroy non-compliant
people.   I told him what I thought of that, and that's why I have a
"consultant of the year" plaque on my wall signed by him, but am banned from
everything Part-15.  It was his stand that he was going to employ people to
search out WISP's and report non-filers.   I dunno if he did or not.

This is why I posted about whether our industry is going to thrive or die.
The FCC or FBI or whomever, is going to ask everyone to help enforce.   If
that means putting people out of business, will WISPA do it?   I'm not
asking this to incite an argument with the list members and the board, I'm
pointing out that there's coming a point where there's a NO WIN situation
coming.   And, it might NOT be over CALEA.   It might be the next thing to
come down the pike.

Should WISPA engage in helping members help authorities in lawful pursuit of
criminals?   Oh, absolutely.

So far, WISPA is sitting the fence.   "We don't police the industry".   But
what will be the response when the FCC asks them to?  I would suggest the
board at present and the soon to be elected board members consider this now.
I'm not even suggesting one way or the other.  I'm no longer a member of
WISPA, though I strongly support the notion and value of a trade
organization for WISP's.

I would guess from the response, we all see the need for MORE, not less
WISP's in our country, and we need growth in our industry.  What will be the
response when WISPA is asked to undertake or support enforcement actions
that reduce the numbers and place barrriers to entry into the WISP business?

As you stated... WE ARE COWBOYS.  That's because that's who is always the
forefront of any industry.  The intrepid, the gutsy, the indedpendent, the
stubborn, and willful.  And I  can predict without any hesitation that a
majority, perhaps not of WISPA members, but of the non-allied network
operators will not be so easily corralled into compliance.  Not because what
they need is wrong, but because it's wrong for the government to do what
it's trying to do, place mandates on us for purely it's own convenience.

The choices now will have a huge influence on the future.    No matter which
way the twig is bent, the tree starts that way and reversing course will NOT
be without pain, cost and consequence.   No matter which way WISPA goes, it
will cause grief, pain, and consequences.   There's NO WINNING this one.
There's no side to choose to come out smelling like a rose.

I suspect you all know what the stand would be should i be in charge.   But
either way,  the sooner leadership gets on a side, and stands by it with
whatever principles they choose to uphold, the better.   Yeah, I think we
should have addresssed this long ago.  But there's another important
decision by the feds to make.. and that is what kind of enforcement...
Enough fight from the industry, and they WILL change their minds.   As you
so clearly stated, DC is a land of linguine spines.   Expedience is king.
That's why the FCC dumped CALEA on us in the first place.   No stomach for
the fight.

Now, what will we do?

You imply that in order to win their way, the feds are willing to take us
all out.   You used 2K as the number of operators, and 400 that comply.
that's 400 vs 1600, and that the 1600 will "take down" the 400.  How?
What's the strategy?   Ban wireless ISP's?   Is that not counterproductive
to EVERYTHING they have claimed they're for?

But this argument isn't really about CALEA,  Peter.  I'm merely pointing out
that if we choose to run down that road... it's a LOT farther back when the
next thing pops up.  And either we're going to start advocating shamelessly
and boldly for ALL our industry... Or we might as well fold up shop and go
home.   I don't think there's a "picking and choosing" option later.   Once
you choose to support something that hurts some of your industry in the name
of "cooperation", then you're pretty much committed to that action and WISPA
will see it enforce it's own industry's stagnation and perhaps demise, and
really have no choice in the matter.

Maybe it has no choice as the board sees it now.   That's not my view, but
again, I'm not in charge.

And lastly, you keep talking about someone has to do something, it takes
numbers, not a lone voice.   Uhhh, if I don't succeed in rallying any WISP's
to the idea, then what would be the point of anything else?   Is not THIS
the starting point?   Is not THIS the place to have the discussion?
Attacking WISPA from the outside, in my view would be a nasty thing to do,
but if we were to argue this outside, it WOULD turn into that, and I think
that would be absolutely WRONG.   Just because I disagree with the driver of
the bus, doesn't mean I want to blow the bus up.    We need it.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Peter R." <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <>
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2007 7:40 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] FCC Admits Mistakes In Measuring Broadband Competition


A well written piece.

However, I think you miss my point:

"Either we defend ourselves, and we defend the "cowboys" as Peter likes to
call people like me by rising in opposition to ANY regulatory garbage that
puts us under their thumb... Or we've just killed our whole industry."

You talk about gov't wiping you out. And I agree. They will because they
can't get cooperation (or if you want to go to your extreme, gov't can't
maintain control).  I could go on and on about the current Admin, what
is going on at the Hill, etc., but the differences you and I have over
CALEA is that you spent all your time moaning about it when the
questions coming up were "How do I get compliant?"

There has been a 2 year battle over CALEA including in the courts. Where
was everyone then??
ACE and EFF could have used some help. But you are looking to close the
barn door after the animals escaped. You can certainly fight CALEA - and
any other regulation you want - but many just want help complying, so
they can stay in business.

I don't know when you last fought something in DC, but the whole
experience is so disgusting that I found myself never wanting to even
visit the area again. Liars and scumbags - the whole lot. Everyone up
there - even those sitting with you supposedly - have their own agenda.
And at any time will throw you under the bus to get their way.

And I don't know why you take the term cowboy to be so offensive. If you
want to operate in an unregulated or uncontrolled manner, that's a
cowboy.  People that pioneered the West were cowboys. You did your
pioneering and now that Broadband is main stream and the President has
proclaimed his BB Policy, you are entering the regulated world.

As I explained to someone offlist, cowboy wasn't the best word to use,
but I could not come up with another word. But visually a guy sitting on
a plain pretty much alone with his livestock (business) is why it got
used. Other words were too strong. I just couldn't find a good word to
Here's my main worry:  About 400 of what we will call 2000 want to
comply and run their business. The other 1600 don't want to fill out
forms or be bothered, which is their prerogative but not their right.
But it is the 1600 that will take down the 400.

Here's my main peeve: It's quite okay to stand up and oppose something,
but whistling in the wind does not get it done. Words are great, but
action (like all those people you said would get behind you) is
required. If you feel this strongly - and apparently you do because you
and I keep going back and forth on this with you being insulted and then
me being insulted - take some action. Don't write a missive. Go do

Meanwhile the deadline for compliance with CALEA is still May 14. (Did
you sign up for the Bearhill CALEA webinar?)


Peter Radizeski

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