Wireless Internet service provider

A wireless Internet service provider is an
Internet service provider with a network based on wireless networking. Technology may include commonplace Wi-Fi wireless
mesh networking, or proprietary equipment designed to operate over open 900 MHz, 2.4
GHz, 4.9, 5.2, 5.4, 5.7, and 5.8 GHz bands or licensed frequencies in the UHF band and
LMDS In the US, the Federal Communications Commission
released Report and Order, FCC 05-56 in 2005 that revised the FCC’s rules to open the
3650 MHz band for terrestrial wireless broadband operations. On November 14, 2007 the Commission released
Public Notice in which the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announced the start date for licensing
and registration process for the 3650-3700 MHz band. History
Initially, WISPs were only found in rural areas not covered by cable or DSL. The first WISP in the world was LARIAT, a
non-profit rural telecommunications cooperative founded in 1992 in Laramie, Wyoming. LARIAT originally used WaveLAN equipment,
manufactured by the NCR Corporation, which operated on the 900 MHz unlicensed radio band. LARIAT was taken private in 2003 and continues
to exist as a for-profit wireless ISP. Another early WISP was a company called Internet
Office Parks in Johannesburg, South Africa that was founded by Roy Pater, Brett Airey
and Attila Barath in January 1996 when they realized the South African Telco, Telkom could
not keep up with the demand for dedicated Internet links for business use. Using what was one of the first wireless LAN
products available for wireless barcode scanning in stores, called Aironet, they worked out
if they ran a dedicated Telco link into the highest building in a business area or CBD
they could wirelessly “cable” up all the other buildings back to this main point and would
only require one link from the Telco to connect up hundreds of businesses at the same time. In turn each “satellite” building was wired
up with Ethernet so each business connected into the Ethernet LAN and could instantly
get Internet access. Due to the immaturity of wireless technology,
security issues and being forced constantly by Telkom SA to cease its service, the company
closed its doors in Jan 1999. There were 879 Wi-Fi based WISPs in the Czech
Republic as of May 2008, making it the country with most Wi-Fi access points in the whole
EU. The providing of wireless Internet has a big
potential of lowering the “digital gap” or “Internet gap” in the developing countries. Geekcorps actively help in Africa with among
others wireless network building. An example of a typical WISP system is such
as the one deployed by Gaiacom Wireless Networks which is based on WiFi standards. The One Laptop per Child project strongly
relies on good Internet connectivity, which can most likely be provided in rural areas
only with satellite or wireless network Internet access. Overview
WISPs often offer additional services like location based content, Virtual Private Networking
and Voice over IP. Isolated municipal ISPs and larger state-wide
initiatives alike are tightly focused on wireless networking. WISPs are predominantly in rural environments
where cable and digital subscriber lines are not available. WiMax is expected to become mainstream in
the near future, bringing with it dramatic changes to the marketplace by increasing the
number of interoperable equipment on the market and making mobile data transmission feasible,
increasing the utility of such networks in rural environments. However, high-bandwidth wireless backhauls
are already common in major cities, providing levels of bandwidth previously only available
through expensive fiber optic connections. Typically, the way that a WISP operates is
to pull a large and usually expensive point to point connection to the center of the area
they wish to serve. From here, they will need to find some sort
of elevated point in the region, such as a radio or water tower, on which to mount their
equipment. The WISP may also connect to a PoP and then
backhaul to their towers, reducing the need to pull a point to point connection to the
tower. On the consumer’s side, they will mount a
small dish or antenna to the roof of their home and point it back to the WISP’s nearest
antenna site. When operating over the tightly limited range
of the heavily populated 2.4 GHz band, as nearly all 802.11-based WiFi providers do,
it is not uncommon to also see access points mounted on light posts and customer buildings. Since it is difficult for a single service
provider to build an infrastructure that offers global access to its subscribers, roaming
between service providers is encouraged by the Wi-Fi Alliance with the protocol WISPr
is a set of recommendations approved by the alliance which facilitate inter-network and
inter-operator roaming of Wi-Fi users. Modern wireless services have comparable latency
to other terrestrial broadband networks Technology problems
Line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight propagation See also
Wireless local loop ConnectKentucky
Geekcorps Neighbourhood Internet Service Provider
Satellite Internet access Motorola Canopy
MikroTik References External links
WISPA – a trade association for WISP owner/operators Wireless ISP FAQ
Media Daily Wireless – Wireless ISP news
Want Wireless Broadband Today? Try a WISP

Danny Hutson

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