David Theodore, Fixed Wireless Innovator

The Past, Present & Next Big Thing for Fixed Wireless Access

Don't be jealous that I'm older than you (60), but no one's been in fixed wireless longer. It's been in my soul since I started Microwave Bypass Systems to develop the first fixed wireless internet access tech (1987). You never heard of us, but we dominated the market in the decade before Wi-Fi. We had the only 802.3 wireless solution on the planet (point-to-point or otherwise) and it matched the then full internet speed of 10 Mbps.

 

Universities and hospitals were 75% of our client base, including hundreds of world-class institutions that got their first internet access from microwave radio where fiber wasn't yet available. Profit margins were a dream and as a Layer-2 service, our install base couldn't have been easier to maintain. 

 

How things have changed. 

 

On one hand, fixed wireless made the migration from enterprise to residential and that's awesome. On the other, providers are in a race to the bottom where the value proposition is too much about lowest price. Fixed wireless is getting crushed by the fiber lobby and inflation will only add to the squeeze. Many WISPs aren't going to make it. 

 

Is there a way out of the death spiral? You bet there is.

 

And forget competition, because there's room enough for everyone; enough to outlast most of our careers. Especially mine, right? 

What I'm talking about is a new class of internet access, based on an emerging standard, *certified* for resilience to extreme weather and grid outages. It's about keeping mission critical connectivity where failure isn't an option. There, you're talking about critical business continuity, public health and safety, and all essential government operations. That, my friends, is an entirely different, altogether stronger value proposition, 100% about quality and reliability, never about lowest price. 

 

And if you don't like the term "climate change", consider that half a trillion dollars will go to climate mitigation around the globe. Even just my state of Massachusetts has a $2 billion fund for municipal "climate readiness". It doesn't matter what you or I think about climate change. This is about the business opportunity. And mark my words, Certified Resilient Internet will become a mandate, even in my time. Because, let's face it, resilient power doesn't mean squat to a business, if it can't communicate or access its data. 

Today, as Co-founder of Climate Resilient Internet, I'm chairing the industry standards committee about to drop the first draft of our resilience standard, anticipating a certification program by October 2022. There's lots more, so if you're interested, email me

In case you've run out of reading material on the internet, I present:

MY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WISP INDUSTRY

FWA FOR EARLY INTERNET ACCESS

The story of wireless WAN pioneer, Microwave Bypass Systems, Inc., early thought leadership, news stories and content. 

FWA FOR RESIDENTIAL

Articles I published about fixed wireless to the home, RF elements, Mimosa, Siklu and 5G hype. 

FWA'S NEW VALUE PROPOSITION

Advancing mission critical internet resilience as industry best practices, certified for extreme weather and grid outages.