Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2014

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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52 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 SERVICE PROVIDER STRATEGIES Q&A With Nathan Stooke, CEO, Wisper Providing the best service possible – because you can, not because you have to – is the watchword of this forward-thinking wireless ISP. I magine an ISP whose customers are so loyal they will travel two to three hours just to attend a company picnic. Tat's the wireless service provider (or WISP) Wisper. Ten years ago, Nathan Stooke saw an unmet need for broadband in his area of southern Illinois and started Wisper to help his neighbors connect to the Internet. He now serves about 7,000 customers in rural Illinois and in the nearby metropolitan area of St. Louis, Mo., and is poised to expand farther into the St. Louis area. Recently, BroadBand Communities had the opportunity to speak with Stooke and fnd out why Wisper's customers are so fanatically loyal – and how he plans to maintain that loyalty as the company moves to the next level. Following are highlights of that conversation. BroadBand Communities: Let's start with the technology. Can fxed wireless technology provide service that's reliable enough to keep customers happy? Nathan Stooke: Yes, it can. Mobile wireless, which uses licensed spectrum, has high power but gives up reliability and throughput for that mobility. Most fxed wireless uses unlicensed spectrum, so it has lower power limits – it can't penetrate trees very well – but as long as it can see the tower, it's highly reliable. It's more equivalent to landline or cable service than cellular, in my mind. Many wireline providers aren't aware of this. One provider I met at a conference said he was losing a year's worth of revenue from a potential fber customer while right-of-way issues were being resolved. He had thought Nathan Stooke Interested in what's important to MDU residents? Find out at the Summit, April 8-10 in Austin. BBC_Jan14.indd 52 1/29/14 10:30 AM

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