Monday, May 08, 2006

WISP serves small area near Cameron Park, Shingle Springs

An established El Dorado County Internet Service Provider has become a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) and is currently serving a small, 15 square mile section of the county east of Cameron Park and north of Shingle Springs.

This service is based on an emerging technology that has attempted to plug holes in wire line broadband availability in underserved areas. However, it contends with the same reception problems as radio and TV signals in El Dorado County's hilly topography.

In addition to technical obstacles, WISPs also face business challenges competing with far better capitalized telcos. And since they tend to serve only small geographical areas, they like the wire line telcos leave thousands of homes and businesses without broadband access.

It remains to be seen if WISPs such as this one surmount the formidable challenges facing them and gain market momentum. If they do, they could provide another impetus for AT&T to finally get its act together in El Dorado County and upgrade its system to support broadband access.

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