Saturday, August 04, 2012

Large WISP bites the dust; Satellites swarm for former customers

Main Street Broadband shuts down | JCFLORIDAN

According its LinkedIn profile, Atlanta-based Main Street Broadband, LLC is a privately held wireless broadband service provider "committed to bringing affordable high speed internet access and digital phone service to the un-served and underserved markets in the southeast" using "the latest in wireless broadband technology for both residential and business services."

The reason for the shutdown of the WISP according to the linked newspaper story is loan funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service was terminated.

Fixed wireless premise service like Main Street's plays an important interim role until communities and alternative business models emerge to construct fiber to the premises infrastructure needed for today and tomorrow's Internet protocol-based services.

Now satellite Internet providers are swarming to scoop up the defunct WISP's former customers.  Unfortunately for them, they now like all too many Americans face the lousy choice of sucking a satellite and its punitive bandwidth caps and poor connection quality or turning back the calendar to 1992 and dialugging over obsolete legacy telco copper cable.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  Communities can and should invest the necessary time, money and energy to build their own fiber infrastructure and operate it prudently and sustainably as a community and economic development asset.

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