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Complicating matters is that much of the equipment the WISPs have used is not standards-based.
When City Attorney Colin Burns asked Rodecker if Wisp’s antenna bounced signals to customers during Tuesday’s meeting, Rodecker couldn’t give a definite answer. He offered Tuesday to pay city fines, fill out the necessary paperwork and conceal the antenna per city standards so long as Wisp could remain in operation, but the city didn’t take his offer.
“We have customer satisfaction,” Rodecker said in an interview.
The council voted 3-0 Tuesday to revoke a Planning Commission decision to issue Wisp a conditional use permit and variance so its antenna could remain on the roof of the Rodecker building at 10175 Slater Ave.
Despite several pleas from residents who described Wisp’s services as beneficial to the community, Mayor Steve Nagel said allowing a business that didn’t initially follow city rules and regulations to proceed would set a bad precedent.
Fountain Valley’s investigation into the matter began in January 2018 with back-and-forth communication between city staff, a hired consultant and Wisp’s owner, David Rodecker, documents show.
According to the city, Wisp operated without proper permits, installed an antenna beyond the maximum 50-foot height limit and didn’t conceal the antenna up to local standards.While the tower and antennas were placed on Rodecker’s commercial property to receive data, which would make the facility compliant with the rule, the city believes the creation of Wisp to transmit signals to multiple customers removes those protections for the company, according to a staff report.City staff also pointed out that Wisp wasn’t licensed by the FCC.“Everyone has stayed on it” except for some who moved out of the city.He said he provides Wisp’s services — which he described as an extension of Local Splash, an online marketing company he founded — for the benefit of residents.Wireless ISPs (WISPs) that deploy fixed wireless broadband service in the CBRS spectrum band should see their valuations increase, according to a new report about CBRS and WISP valuations from the Knowledge Exchange Division at Co Bank, a key lender to rural service providers.Co Bank also expects CBRS to offer an exit strategy for WISPs that might not previously have had one because WISPs that deploy in the CBRS band will be more attractive acquisition targets for larger carriers.The CBRS band will be a good choice for WISPs because a large swath of it will be available for unlicensed use, and in rural areas, this unlicensed spectrum should be relatively uncrowded and should support higher throughput in comparison with options that WISPs have today, the report notes.A different portion of the band will be auctioned and is expected to be used by large operators – and according to the report, that’s a good thing.Other interesting observations from the report, titled “Spectrum Sharing Shows Promise for Broadband Access in Rural America,” relate to a Google initiative to help WISPs deploy CBRS-based fixed wireless.That strategy includes acting as a SAS administrator, providing training and certification programs involving CBRS equipment installation, and providing a network planning tool to help WISPs architect their fixed wireless networks.