General Information – WISP Business

Building a WISP in Rural Areas, Suburbs and Inner City Districts

Like millions of Americans across the U.S., many may think the chance of getting a high-speed Internet connection to their neighborhood is probably slim or not likely all. In a large percentage of big cities, most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with access to Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) co-location facilities or hybrid fiber coaxial cable systems have done a good job of making broadband Internet connections available to their customers. However, a large majority of Americans living in rural areas, suburbs and inner city districts have been overlooked by the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs), Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) or Cable Multiple System Operators (MSOs). Many communications carriers have decided that these neighborhoods, cities and towns are not worth the $50,000 to well over $1 million investment to bring broadband Internet access to these areas. The most common reason cited is the high capital expense required to upgrade network equipment and the time it takes to dig up the streets and install the new fiber, copper wiring or coaxial cable needed to carry high-speed Internet data traffic to each residential or business location. The good news is that instead of getting wired to the Internet, a growing number of individuals, neighborhoods and businesses have discovered Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) technology, which is the most cost-effective way to bring high-speed Internet connections to small, medium and large pockets of Internet users that still do not have broadband Internet access. New broadband wireless technology is making it possible for users to connect to the Internet, receive email, surf web pages, without modems or phones lines, regardless of location. In addition, the wireless connections let users send and receive information at high speeds, normally exceeding the speeds offered by dial-up connections. The higher speeds that can be achieved can be a boon to small businesses, home offices and high-profile Internet surfers that want to surf the Internet at much higher speeds than dial-up connections will allow. Unlike DSL or cable modem networks, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to build, broadband wireless networks can be built at a fraction of the price required to build out wired networks. The minimal cost of building a small broadband wireless network can be as low as $3,000 dollars from vendors like Sputnik, plus the monthly cost of Internet backbone connectivity (a T1 circuit), which usually ranges from $500-$1,000 per month from vendors such as Bandwidth.com. A T1 circuit provides 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth, which can usually support a customer base of around 50-100 users. If each customer is paying a monthly subscription fee of $40 per month, and there are 100 paying customers, this would provide the service provider with a revenue stream of $4k per month or $48k per year. This article is the first in a series of several articles that will provide readers with a step-by-step process on how to research and determine whether or not your location would be a good location to build a broadband wireless network. Please join us next week to learn, ” Does a Wireless ISP Provide a Good Return on Investment?” For more information, please visit BWE’s website, www.bbwexchange.com/howto/

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