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Residential Wireless Internet Service providers

Cosmos Wireless' comm's tower in Ammohostos, Cyprus

A (WISP) 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, 24, and 60 GHz bands or licensed frequencies in the UHF band (including the MMDS frequency band), LMDS, and other bands from 6Ghz to 80Ghz.

In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 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 (DA 07-4605) in which the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announced the start date for licensing and registration process for the 3650-3700 MHz band.

As of July 2015, there are over 1, 280 fixed wireless broadband providers operating in the US covering 51% of the US population.


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 (now owned by Cisco), 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 could instantly get Internet access. Due to the immaturity of wireless technology, security issues and being forced constantly by Telkom SA (Then the government Telco in South Africa) to cease its service, the company closed its doors in Jan 1999.

In 2009, a company called Cosmos Wireless founded by William Demetriou, set up their own network in the Republic of Cyprus, after realizing that no one could get internet if they lived in rural areas. During the following years, Cosmos Wireless' founder realized that even people who lived in towns and commercial areas also wanted this service. The company grew to a point where Cosmos Wireless is now able to cover the whole island, making Cosmos Wireless the first WISP to cover an entire country.

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 Wi-Fi 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.


WISPs often offer additional services like location-based content, Virtual Private Networking and Voice over IP. Isolated municipal ISPs and larger statewide initiatives alike are tightly focused on wireless networking.

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Preferred Networks - Wireless Internet Service Provider ...
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Fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers : Free Download ...
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