Wireless Internet service provider Avolve (avolve.net) was recently recognized as 2005 Wireless Internet Service Provider of the Year. Stuart Pierce, Avolve (formerly AscenTure), received the award March of this year during a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) Conference held in Potomac, Maryland.
Pierce explained that the award is generally given to an individual who participates in the wireless Internet industry and has assisted newcomers to the business. Pierce says there is a large flood of entrepreneurs entering the marketplace at this time.
“Many people saw the first round of the wireless Internet explosion in the late 1990’s,” Pierce said. “We started late 2000 and recently more have recognized that they have missed that opportunity and are now attempting to capitalize on the new wireless explosion. There definitely is quite a bit of new blood out there.”
The conferences, hosted by Part15.org, take place every six months. The most recent conference, Stuart Pierce sat on a panel discussion entitled “Don’t Try This At Home”. The panel with three other members of the wireless industry gave their insights into the business as well as their thoughts of the industry as a whole.
The conference is well attended by members of the FCC and Lauren Van Wazer, Advocate of the Year 2005, of the Wireless Task Force was one of the main speakers. A panel of FCC personnel also hosted a discussion of the newly formed spectrum 3650, which will be solely used for wireless communications pertaining to broadband. Last October outgoing director Michael Powell was the main keynote speaker and was received very well.
Pierce commented that at previous conferences he was fortunate enough to share breakfast with Robert Pepper, Chief of the Office of Plans and Policy (OPP) for the FCC. Pierce and another guest became privy to his insight into the future of wireless Internet activity.
“We were especially interested in wireless issues in rural areas, and we were pleased to learn that these issues are at the top of the FCC agenda,” said Pierce. “This is evident of the recent news of opening a slice of radio spectrum specifically for WISP use in that of the 3650 Mhz or 3.6 Ghz.”
“Pepper went on to cite an example of a community in the very rural hills of Virginia. There was such a far spread between the community and the Telco central office, that it was even difficult for the residents in the hills to get dial tone,” recalled Pierce. But once a wireless entrepreneur fired up a wireless Internet provider service, and deployed in that same area, in a short time, the community was enjoying megabit wireless broadband, and it replaced the poor performance telephone with a new technology, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP.) The Internet provider uses digital technology instead of a telephone system for voice.
Pierce said wireless Internet technology is advancing rapidly, and his concerns lay with the rural wireless needs. Avolve has made win-win agreements with a few surrounding villages to bring this broadband alternative to their communities at Avolve’s expense. This not only helps the villages with their Internet connectivity needs but also their computer consulting needs. The communities and the broadband industry as a whole are served by the competition that the small business of wireless Internet service providers in keeping the rates of the national brands at bay.
Pierce has been approached to speak in Washington in front the FCC as well as Congress on the challenges, pitfalls and needs of the rural communities. “Mr. Pepper has informed us that the FCC would like to know the kind of things they can do to further the rapid deployment of wireless broadband in rural area,” said Pierce.
Most recently Avolve Wireless Internet Services has provided service to National Trails Raceway for the NHRA PowerAde Nationals held in May. Jeff Kovalich said, “Everything is running great, it is a feather in your cap”. The wireless served the media and NHRA Corporate for their communications to their respective agencies for the entire track.
Additionally Pierce has been a featured WISP on Wireless Tech Radio in August 2004 where he was interviewed by industry insiders as to how Avolve started and words of interests to up and coming wireless newbies.
In the interim, Pierce has been working to provide wireless Internet service to more rural areas of Fairfield, Perry and Licking counties. Presently we are awaiting approval to light up the village of Rushville and will look to have a good potential for Bremen and the Hide-A-Way Hills area. Avolve still looks for forward thinking villages and communities to strike agreements with in order to facilitate the growth of their wireless futures.