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Nagel said the city also received some complaints from residents who were opposed to Wisp’s antenna because they believed it would open the door for others to do the same thing.During the council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl Brothers said some residents feared Fountain Valley would become “a forest of these bare antennas.”However, at the heart of the debate is whether Wisp is covered under the FCC’s Over-the-Air Reception Devices rule, which has been in effect since 1996 and “prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming.”This applies to video antennas, including direct-to-home satellite dishes, television antennas, wireless cable antennas and customer-end antennas that receive and transmit fixed wireless signals, according to the FCC.
Thus, the potential acquirer would be “better off overbuilding the market and acquiring the customers that way,” the report argues.
A WISP that deploys in the CBRS band will be more attractive to a potential acquirer because the WISP business could more easily be integrated into the operations of a larger carrier that is also likely to use the CBRS band, the author argues.
Complicating matters is that much of the equipment the WISPs have used is not standards-based.
According to the author, “[b]uying these types of networks offers no synergies” as any acquiring operator would typically feel compelled to decommission the existing network and moving customers onto different technology.
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.
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.
Rodecker also has experienced the frustration of a spotty internet connection.
It’s part of the reason he was inspired to create Wisp three years ago and sell wireless internet for work, streaming and gaming on multiple devices.