The recent BEAD Program’s NOFO update was a bit of a doozy, especially for WISPs. For one, FTTH gained a disproportionate amount of priority despite much higher costs and longer lead times. Meanwhile, WISPs suffered a hit due to funding restrictions on unlicensed spectrum usage. Furthermore, this negatively impacts end customers in areas without adequate competition from internet providers.
The topic ignited spirited discussions on WISPA’s member forums as many voiced their disappointment. In the midst of the heated debates, some surfaced the need to level the playing field. So here we are, nearly two weeks since the update. Now is the time to assemble a list of ideas to help smaller WISPs band together to compete more effectively. Here’s a start:
1. Licensed spectrum sharing
2. Equipment group purchases
3. Site location identification
4. Site deployment & installation
5. Site performance monitoring
6. Customer marketing
7. Customer support
The gist of banding together is to pool resources across geographies while maintaining operations at the local level. Feel free to comment on LinkedIn and add new ideas.