Monday, October 15, 2007

WISP pulls out of Northern California, El Dorado County

In June 2006, NuTel Broadband Corporation, a Cranbury, NJ-based broadband wireless managed services provider announced plans to deploy wireless "mesh" broadband networks in Sacramento, Chico, San Jose and El Dorado County as part of a 14-state rollout. The company is now pulling out of Northern California.

The WISP had plans to begin rolling out service in Folsom and El Dorado Hills and then head east up US 50 into the foothills. NuTel CEO Joe Fiero confirmed the withdrawal in an email today. Fiero said the decision to pull the plug on the region was prompted by concerns from would be business partners that Fiero says feared potential competition from municipal Wi-Fi networks that would provide free or very low cost access to users. NuTel's business model involves partnering with existing ISPs and WISPs as well as residential telecommunications wiring contractors, with NuTel providing back office management as well as a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) offering via NuTel's proprietary backbone and switch.

"From a demographics point of view, we would love to be in the region," Fiero wrote. "It’s finding willing partners to build and operate the system that has been the issue. We have done exhaustive research and spent hundreds of hours to locate economic sources for bandwidth and proper antenna locations. Someday we hope to put all that to good use."

El Dorado County's locally owned and operated WISPs including Remotely Located and Sierra Advantage likely welcome Nutel's retreat, although from this blogger's perspective it appeared doubtful NuTel like Clearwire and other big multi-state WISPs would have ever served areas east of El Dorado Hills. Nor would they likely face competition there from free or cheap public Wi-Fi.

1 comment:

Roy McMillan said...

Why would Joe or any other proprietary network operator, "FEAR" the "Muni-Fi" operators. They have sub-par performance and most of them are collapsing. Causing the major players HUGE Financial loss. How many hundreds of people lost their jobs at Earth-link? How many millions have they lost in the Muni-Fi program? As Mr. Fiero said it was due to "not finding a partner willing to operate in that area, not the muni-fi.

Roy McMillan
NuTel Broadband of the Mississippi Valley

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