Recap: WISPAPALOOZA 2019
WISPAPALOOZA 2019 Recap
Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered and helped put together WISPAPALOOOZA 2019! Yet again, we had a record year, with over 2,500 attendees and 160 exhibitors at the event. What a tremendous testimony to the strength, growth and innovative spirit of the WISP community! The possibilities from our five days in Las Vegas are truly limitless, like WISPs themselves.
What did we see and learn?
Well, we saw WISPs call for greater access to unlicensed, lightly licensed and licensed spectrum so they can continue growing and serving their communities with high-speed broadband. That the C-band gets shared with WISPs. That once the CBRS auction gets going, WISPs have a meaningful shot at obtaining licenses there.
We learned that WISPs, like many in the communications industry, remain skeptical about Washingtons call for 5G leadership. That Washington must more inclusively include WISPs in their goal of closing the digital divide instead of pushing its mono-focus on boosting 5G.
We received feedback from a significant number of WISPs who, though they generally pride themselves on building their businesses with their own risk and savings, appeared receptive to recent FCC proposals to spend $20 billion to fund the deployment of more rural broadband. Yet, virtually to a number, all we're concerned about those same proposals potentially working against them, leading to crushing government-subsidized overbuilds of their service territories.
We heard from SBAs Michelle Christian about the agencys commitment to rural broadband and growth, and to helping small WISPs who do not receive the same beneficial treatment from financial institutions as traditional providers for their spectrum use and holdings better obtain access to capital.
We experienced a fantastic, enormous exhibit hall loaded with the latest in hardware, software, services, and other offerings from 160 vendors and their busy reps, all eager to sell their solutions to hungry, innovative WISPs.
We came together to support the fight against cancer, giving $19,600 to the Ungor family to help Ali Ungor beat her battle with cervical cancer.
And we felt in person our awesome community standing together, sharing knowledge, shaking hands, laughing and having fun celebrating our role in bridging the digital divide and bringing high-speed broadband to areas left behind by traditional providers.
Our community is deep. It is an essential part of the growth, prosperity, and wellbeing of rural America.
I want to thank you for allowing me to be part of it, and in helping you reach all the possibilities you can in the coming years!