I'm not much of an alarmist and I would never claim the sky is falling 
unless I had positive proof.  Right now WISPA is faced with what I 
perceive as the most serious threat to our industry to date.  Some of 
you may complain that the FCC is an overreaching intruder into our 
business.  While Federal Government oversight and regulations into our 
rapidly growing industry may seem intrusive WISPA has always had their 
ear and we feel they listen and include us into much of their decision 
making process.  There is no doubt they truly want nation-wide service 
and recognize the lack of enthusiastic expansion by major players 
(legacy carriers) into the rural area which is our strongest argument.

Starting with Net Neutrality we noticed that Congress was starting to 
politicize the work of the FCC.  Some of you thought that was a good 
thing since you felt the FCC was slow in releasing frequencies.  The 
micro-management of the FCC on that first issue has rapidly grown to 
full fledged taking over of the FCC's mission.  Once the legacy 
characters found that they could go around the FCC to Congress, where 
they already give millions in "donations", they knew they had one big 
leg up on small budget organizations like WISPA.  They are now flexing 
their full lobbying muscle by getting some 'friends' in Congress to 
introduce bills that would freeze any future expansion of the WISP 
market locking us out of the lower frequencies that we need to penetrate 
vegetation and terrain.  Much like teaching the Internet to your parents 
other legislators look at the new laws with dazed amazement and just say 
OK not realizing the ramifications and listening to the lobbyist spin.

WISPA is not sitting back on this one, last year our board was not 
afraid to go far out of budget to get our feet firmly in the door on 
issues such as TV White Spaces (TV White Spaces) and the Universal 
Service Fund change to Connect America Fund (CAF).  It appears all that 
work is now under scrutiny by Congress and their answer seems to be one 
of 'lets just put all frequencies up for bid, licensed and unlicensed'.  
None of us WISP's could afford to bid against the likes of AT&T and 
Verizon and it has the potential of locking all small business out of 
any future frequencies.

Yesterday the Legislative, FCC, and Promotions Committee of WISPA got 
together and released a letter to all Congressional Members of several 
committees relevant to this battle, in addition we paid to have a formal 
press release sent to the media objecting to this path that both the 
Senate and House seem to be pursuing.  We are now interviewing potential 
Lobbyists (something we've never needed before) and, other firms that 
can help us with this new front we have to fight on.

Where WISPA will have to go to get the ear of Congress to stop this 
insane path is all new to us but we are up to the challange.  We have 
great legal counsel, members that can attend and testify hearings, 
allies in other groups such as New America feel the pain like us on this 
issue.  We will be making alliances, learning how to do social 
networking to reach our members, our members subscribers and, anyone who 
will side with us to form grass roots efforts to get the attention of 
Congress.  At this point we are not asking for a special assessment or 
other means to aggressively answer this call, we are within budget so 
far but it's hard to say how far this will go.  We simply are asking you 
to watch closely what we inform membership, prepare to be involved 
because unless you are content with the current frequencies and rules we 
are under you will directly be affected by this Congressional action.

If we give in to these irrational rules don't think Congress or the 
legacy characters will stop there, if they sell the revenue model 
successfully they could go after existing frequencies too.  WISPA will 
be releasing talking points next week so that you can help us by making 
appointments with your Congressperson while they are in district during 
the month of August.  We really need to educate them that this path is 
bad for America and their constituents.  If you need constant updates 
please join the Legislative Committee as we will be posting most of the 
Legislative work in that venue.  Thank you for your time and we 
appreciate you realizing the huge task we have ahead of us.

Forbes Mercy
WISPA VP/Legislative Chair

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