I Hate Wireless

Wireless Challenge #163: Ice Storm! (Mount Saint Helena, Feb 2009)

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” –  Arthur C. Clarke

Wireless is magic. You point two antennas at each other over a span of miles, and broadband comes out the other end. Most of the time.

I hate wireless.

Today, we sold our wireless network.

It’s an issue of focus. We are focused on wireline services, and dealing with the success and growth of both Fusion and FlexLink. We are also working on our Fusion Fiber projects. Wireline (including fiber) is our future. And, wireless is difficult. So, we sold our hard-won wireless infrastructure, selecting CDS Wireless of Santa Rosa to take over our network.

CDS is focused on wireless. They love it! (And, as far as I can tell, they don’t much like the wireline services such as DSL, which they do sell — but we provide the DSL aggregation and operate that network for them.) Their focus on wireless, and as a result, I expect that CDS will be a better steward of the wireless network, services and customers.

Sonic.net is providing the Internet backbone connection for CDS, so it’s a good partnership for us. We do the part we are good at, and they focus on the their specialty. And, if a customer cannot be reached by our wireline products and they are located in CDS’s coverage area, we will refer them.

As we shift away from wireless, we are also retiring all of our free public WiFi projects. These provided WiFi access in a number of city centers. With the rise of smartphones and 3g, plus the growing challenges of maintaining aging WiFi equipment, this is also something we cannot focus on anymore. (For now at least, we will continue our partnership with Airport Express to deliver WiFi onboard their buses.)

I am very excited about the focus on where we are headed. And, I know that our former wireless customers will be well taken care of too.