WISPA Opens Annual WISPAPALOOZA Conference - A Spectrum of Possibilities
Las Vegas, NV, October 14, 2019 – Six million individuals and businesses get their broadband from fixed wireless providers, otherwise known as WISPs. Nearly 2000 WISPs dot America’s rural landscape, serving areas that the largest, traditional telecom players have chosen to ignore. WISPs proudly fill that gap, delivering not only high-speed broadband, but also bridging the digital divide so that rural Americans aren’t cut out of the American dream.
Each year, the vibrant WISP ecosystem converges on Las Vegas for five days to celebrate their successes; see the latest in hardware, software and services; get training; network and have fun at WISPA’s annual WISPAPALOOZA. This year, over 2,000 individuals and 160 exhibitors serving the growing WISP marketplace will attend the convention being held at the RIO from Monday, October 14th through Friday, October 18th.
“Welcome to WISPAPALOOZA!” exclaimed Claude Aiken, president and CEO of WISPA, at the show’s opening on Monday morning. “It is a great time to be a WISP. This is our time to shine, to show America our integral role in delivering new possibilities to our local communities. Congratulations on this fabulous success story!”
This year’s theme: “A Spectrum of Possibilities.” And, yes, there are many indeed. “WISPs are getting Americans online in record numbers,” noted Aiken. “Policymakers and the marketplace are taking notice, awakening to the possibility that through WISPs, bridging the digital divide could be achieved more quickly and cost-effectively than with the traditional players. That the WISP model of broadband deployment is undeniably potent and effective.”
But how in the age of 5G hype? Well, first of all, WISPs are nimble and know the ins-and-outs of serving rural markets. Perennially confronted with regulatory, capital, and local infrastructure challenges, WISPs are adept at innovating connectivity solutions in the most unforgiving circumstances. Added to this, with unlicensed, lightly licensed and licensed spectrum, they can beam broadband to far flung localities at about 15% of the cost it would take to wire those places with fiber, oftentimes delivering broadband to a cluster of residences or businesses nearly overnight.
No doubt, spectrum is a WISP’s fuel. And, it is scarce. Moreover, everyone one wants it. But, with the advent of CBRS and its dynamic spectrum sharing technology, new possibilities for new sources of spectrum have emerged. This has WISPs ever-more excited for the future. “This isn’t a fad,” noted Trina Coffey, WISPA VP of Events and Operations. “WISPs are flocking to WISPAPALOOZA to learn more about dynamic sharing and see the latest solutions to get more out of spectrum. WISPAPALOOZA keeps them on top so they can bring the latest advancements to their hungry customers.”
Of course, WISPAPALOOZA offers more than just access to new technology. For five days each year it houses the WISP community. A community of individuals who are invested in the success of their neighbors. Who have built their networks from the ground up to serve their families and friends with broadband. Who have risked their own capital because of the possibilities that can bring to the prosperity for all.
“I am proud to be a part of such a selfless group of individuals – this nation could learn a thing or two from these dedicated local servants,” said Aiken.
WISPA’s approximately 800 members are composed of fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and the industry that supports fixed wireless broadband, including equipment suppliers, support services, and other components needed to run a successful business. Our members, and WISPs, in general, provide broadband access to over 4 million residential and business customers, often in exclusively rural areas.