One of the biggest and most convenient technological trends over the last decade is wireless – from digital cable, to mobile devices, to internal computer networks, and even to the mouse you may be using right now. No longer are we tied down to endless arrays of cables that have to be hidden under carpets and inside walls lest they become instruments of death via a clumsy trip; however, most Americans still rely on outdated cables running into their homes for their Internet connection. Sure, fiber optic connections have been advancing significantly in areas throughout the country but they are accompanied with prices that often make them prohibitive to many. Compounded with a lack of competition, Internet connectivity in general has become a necessary nuisance to consumers. Yet, many overlook the option that not only takes advantage of the latest wireless innovations but that can also function as a service comparable to fastest speeds available at a fraction of the price – wireless internet service providers (WISP).

WISPs impart consumers with a direct internet access line that is dispatched over the air with point-to-point radio frequency (RF) technology. With the use of fixed RF technology, WISPs can provide homes or businesses access with broadband circuits that are distributed by commercial grade wireless networks, not to be confused with satellite or cellular based technology. Instead, WISPs present a clear alternative to dial-up, satellite and cellular Internet providers, maintaining a constant, reliable internet connection. Wired connections, in comparison, rely on old, outdated underground conduits that can be disrupted by acts of god, construction, and other factors.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the advantages that WISPs feature:

Stable Up-Time

Fixed wireless connections do not succumb to the wear and tear outages that can occur from damaged or outdated wired connections or vandalization such as a recent Arizona episode that barred a town from web access for over 15 hours. Similarly, incremental weather will not disrupt the service either unlike satellite connections that become finicky when storm clouds roll in. WISPs do not fall prey to such obstacles and thus assure a more reliable advantage.


When compared to a satellite provider, WISPs have the advantage of having a lower latency (i.e. faster speed). For a satellite connection, information needs to be routed from the dish to the satellite, to the server, and then on to the internet. This creates a high latency, or slower speed. A fixed wireless setup is far more direct with an over-the-air highway from your antennae straight to the tower. The shorter number of steps and distance allow for a faster, less laggy experience by comparison.

No Data Caps

Data caps have begrudgingly become the norm from expensive data packages on cell phones to home connections that can either cut off your service after breaking the cap or run up your monthly bill. Most major internet providers have enforced data caps that are placed under the debatable justification that it protects bandwidth and deters pirates all while charging extra fees for higher caps, throttling connection speeds after the cap is reached, or even suspending service after it is breached. The clear benefit of WISPs is that  majority of them do not have any caps thereby providing customers with the secure internet access that they pay for.

Here in Rochester, we have a couple of fixed wireless alternatives, such as NYSYS airAccess, that can provide a good alternative to the large behemoths such as Time Warner. WISPs are typically 40-60% less expensive than traditional internet service providers and most customers will have service installed within 3 to 10 days of placing an order. In a time when internet provider competition is paltry, it can be relieving to find not only a genuine, low priced option, but one that also adheres to remaining on the forefront of the wireless revolution rather than relying on the “good enough” mantra of the current conglomerated system.

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