What is Your Mission?

By David Island

A fun game I like to play is what I call the cocktail party game.

You’re at a party and you meet someone new and they invariably ask, “oh hi what do you do?”

I could say something fancy like, “I help close the digital divide.” But since I am not in politics, and I don’t work for the FCC, I usually say, “I am in sales, and I help folks in rural areas get internet.”

“Oh, how do you do that.” “Oh, we provide fiber technology, and we also put radios on towers, and they connect to a little dish thing on the side of your house, so you don’t need cable.” “Oh, that’s really cool.”

Yes, it is pretty cool. As we all know, our small world of WISPs is under a lot of pressure. Vendors like Cambium are also under pressure. It’s during the harder times that we must reflect as to why we got into this in the first place.

I have been in telecom sales in one way or another for the last 33 years. If you know what V.35 or SNA is, you might be as old as I am! But in some ways the last 6+ years have been the most fun. It’s because I get to work with entrepreneurs, CEO’s and CTOs of small (relative to big guys like AT&T) providers. Our industry is not far removed from its hobbyist roots. Guys and gals who just wanted to get internet for themselves and their neighbors.

The internet today is a utility like electricity and water. You can’t really live without it. It if wasn’t for the WISP community, a lot of folks might have to move just so their kids could do their homework, or they could work from home, and of course play games, watch TV, or scroll Instagram.

So hopefully this blog helps you reminisce on why we are all doing this, while we fill out the BDC report to the FCC or the myriad of things that are the less glamorous parts of the job.

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Published April 10, 2024