2. Do you see value in raising WISPA fees to allow for more efficient
lobbying efforts with the FCC and other Government Entities

 

1.             Should be based upon customer base. Bigger companies get more
benefit and should support the association more

2.                   Maybe What lobby efforts are we working on I know white
space isn't finished but what else is there to do.  [WISPA is currently
involved in establishing a National Broadband Strategy for the Obama
Administration.  We feel it is important that WISPs be represented as this
strategy is defined and submitted to the administration.  Our attorney also
monitors other non-WISP frequencies NPRM's and alerts us to any issues which
we may have an interest in responding to such as the following:]

TV White Spaces -- The FCC's initial order was released last month, but
there will be a follow-up Notice of Inquiry.  In addition, WISPA may wish to
consider seeking reconsideration of the order -- we hear that effort is
already underway by other interested parties.  An essential part of this
process will be forming alliances with other groups to help achieve
consensus positions.  We could be involved in all phases of this effort.

National Broadband Strategy Group -- We would work closely with you to
support your efforts with NBS.  This would include attending meetings,
participating on calls, performing research, helping to develop solutions
and strategy and other related tasks.

FSS Earth Station Audit -- As we discussed, we could assist WISPA in filing
and prosecuting a request to audit FSS earth stations in the 3650 MHz band
to determine whether they still exist, potentially removing a significant
impediment to deployment of 3650 MHz systems.

Other Issues -- Some other issues important to WISPA may also arise during
the year.  A partial list would include: (1) USF reform and its extension to
broadband (which Obama supports), (2) AWS-3 rules (expected December 18),
(3) Form 477 revisions, (4) Part 15 rule changes, and (5) RUS loan
regulations.

3.                   I don't really know enough about this issue. (no
"Maybe" option) More political power sounds good, but what is the
cost/benefit, especially when perhaps in opposition to huge corporate
telecoms?  [We have a contracted attorney on a monthly retainer to monitor
and assist with these issues and future issues, thus far, with the TV
Whitespaces issue, we have been very happy with the cost/benefit this
retainer has afforded us]

4.                   You need more people to join, not less  [Agreed]

5.                   The fees are very low now and the lobbying effort is
great. It could be even better if we had more funds. Telcos spent the most
money on lobbyists in 2008 so far. [This has always been a challenge as we
started WISPA and intentially kept fees low to attract membership, with a
more mature Association and more lobbying demand now, we need to be flexible
on how we approach membership fees and budget our lobbying funds, more can
be done with higher membership fees, but we are definitely concerned about
not pricing small operators out of our membership by raising dues beyond
what they can afford.  There seems to be two sides, those who criticize
(constructively) WISPA for not having higher dues and those who can't afford
higher dues.  We are compassionate to both sides and have struggled with
raising dues because of this fact.]

6.                   Unless you were hiring a paid lobbyist - and that would
take about $6K per month - there's no reason to raise dues. Visiting FCC can
be done virtually too.  [We do pay an attorney to assist us in our lobbying
efforts for less than $6K per month, we try to personally send operators to
Washington to assist as well.  We really need to be sending WISPs to
Washington several times per year now.  We are always looking for volunteers
to go.  Much of what we currently do is virtual, but that is not always
enough to have the serious impact that we need]

7.                   Until government changes to be for the people instead
of a select few, any dues will not make a difference.  [I think we are all
hoping the new administration will bring forth some of these changes!  It
will be interesting to see if they hold true to many of the campaign and
pre-inauguration promises.]

8.                   Maybe something tiered, I only have about 100 subs.
[Understood, this is why I based the survey questions as I did]

9.                   I'm conflicted on this. I'm not sure WISPA is having
any real effect, but I'm not sure they are not.  [We believe we had a major
impact in the TV Whitespaces NPRM and outcome, it has taught us the
importance of strong legal counsel in Washington DC and it has assisted us
in talking to the right people.]

10.               The only way we are going to be heard is if we have a full
time presence just like the big boys.  [In process since July!]

11.               I feel the dues should be based on a WISP's subscriber
count. Vendor dues should be based on a member's annual revenues or some
other metric.  [That is one of the options we are looking at.]

12.               Can't agree to raising the price when I don't know the
current price. [$250 annually]

13.               No, but I would pay more for stuff that I can reach out
and touch. Buying groups, documents, passworded site with super vault filled
with treasures.....  [We are currently developing a members only section on
the website where these documents can be stored.  We will also be developing
further member discounts with our vendors over the next few months.  There
are already some discounts listed on the
<http://www.wispa.org/?page_id=256> Vendor Discounts page on the website.]

14.               I would rather see income rise because of membership
increases before raising the dues.  [I agree, however, after 4 years and
some major current lobbying efforts and a need for an Executive director or
staff, we have reached a level where we need to reassess our dues structure
to achieve all the desires of our members]

15.               only slightly, since it tends to drive out the smaller
startups!  [We are very aware of this, it is always at the forefront of our
thought processes]

16.               I think they should remain the same. 

17.               Bring forth products and services, then take a cut of them
to fund lobbying efforts. [This is also something we are considering]

18.               I would need to see more specific examples of how
additional funding is needed to achieve tangible goals.  [See above, if this
doesn't answer your questions, email me offlist]

19.               actually this should be unknown or N/A as I am not fully
aware of WISPAs lobbying efforts. [See above]

20.               I think that indepth lobbying that can be effective is
critical. WISPA has shown massive progress and influence on the process and
anything supporting those continued efforts would be well received. Can I
just donate money toward lobbying and not join?  [Thank you for your
encouragement. Of course, email me offlist and we can take care of your
request but why would you not join?]

 

Respectively,

 

Rick Harnish

General Manager - Midwest Region

Great American Broadband

260-827-2482

 



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