Record-Breaking Spring Show Fuels Optimism in the “Fixed Wireless” Broadband Access Industry
Memphis, TN (March 21, 2017) – The fixed wireless broadband industry is benefiting from robust growth, innovation, and policy activism, judging from the sector’s largest-ever Spring show, which took place March 14-16, 2017, in Memphis, Tennessee.
WISPAmerica 2017, convened by the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (www.WISPA.org), attracted a record-breaking attendance of 870 people from more than 400 companies. WISPA is a membership-driven organization dedicated to the advancement of the wireless internet service provider (WISP) industry.
Attendees had their choice of nearly 50 sessions covering key topics in business management, sales and marketing, government regulations, and technology and training. Keynote speakers delved into the major trends shaping the future of the broadband industry, and the challenges of satisfying the rapidly rising demand for video via broadband networks.
The conference also featured an exhibit hall with more than 65 vendors displaying their products and services in the areas of wireless gear, fiber-optics, tower infrastructure, software, cloud services, VoIP solutions, consultants, mapping services and more.
Another highlight was a visit from Kelsey Guyselman, a Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Ms. Guyselman participated on a panel regarding WISPA’s legislative agenda, toured the exhibit hall, met with industry leaders, and shared her insights on the Committee’s policy priorities that affect the WISP industry.
Alex Phillips, president of WISPA and CEO of Rural Broadband Network Services in Harrisonburg, Virginia, told attendees “the state of our industry is strong.” Phillips pointed to the group’s rising membership; its expanded technical and business offerings; and its recent public policy successes, from receiving two invitations to meet with the new FCC Chairman within the first few days of his tenure, to winning a unanimous vote in the U.S. House of Representatives for The Small Business Broadband Deployment Act in both 2016 and 2017.
The Diamond Sponsors of WISPAmerica 2017 were ConVergence; PowerCode; Telrad; and Ubiquiti Networks. The Platinum Sponsors were Baltic Networks USA; Radwin; RF Elements; Ritalia Funding; Streakwave; Visp.Net; and Winncom Technologies. The Gold Sponsors were American Tower; DoubleRadius; NetSapiens; and SAF. The Silver Sponsors were EUPEN Cable; Last Mile Gear; Lerman Senter; Tycon Systems; ViaSat; Windstream; and ZTE. The Media Sponsor was Channel Vision magazine.
The U.S. WISP industry is comprised of more than 2,000 mostly small- and medium-sized businesses, who deliver high-speed broadband to fixed locations using networks of tower-based antennas and building-mounted receivers. The sector is not as well-known as the nation’s larger broadband providers, but it serves more than 4 million customers.
The combination of competitive costs, high reliability, rapid deployment, and community-based customer service makes fixed wireless broadband access a compelling value proposition, especially in under-served areas.
WISPA is a membership-driven trade association that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the fixed wireless internet service provider industry. For more information, visit www.wispa.org.
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