5 Reasons The Time Is Ripe To Become A FISP

Wispapalooza is going on this week and that got us thinking about the “WISP to FISP” topic even more than usual.

When we create educational content to share on our website, we have extensive discussions so our writers understand what we’re trying to convey. These discussions are incredibly valuable and often evolve our topic from what we originally intended.

Interestingly, in today’s landscape, we’re finding that WISP and FISP do not necessarily need to be two separate business models.

If you’re a WISP, the time is ripe to consider becoming a FISP but fear not, this is probably not a “get rid of what we we’re doing completely and invest in all new stuff” sort of thing. A hybrid path is very often the route to success. We have seen it dozens of times with our own clients. With this in mind, here are 5 reasons the time is ripe to become a FISP:

Adding Fiber To Your Business Model Allows For Growth and Competetiveness In The Marketplace

When you are strictly operating within the WISP business model, towers are what make the Internet magic happen. Towers have their limitations in terms of coverage area and also speed when the tower is servicing many customers. Towers also need to be maintained – sometimes a lot.

WISPs that are adding fiber to their model are taking what’s worked for them and their customers up to this point and growing to establish longevity in the market and meet the wildly high demand for Internet – and preferably fast Internet.

Access To Grants, Loans and Other Financing

Federal grants are what typically make headlines, but remember that there are a wealth of grants at the county and State levels as well. Traditional financing is an option as well as options like our parent company Millennium is offering through the Millennium Infrastructure Fund.

Why does this point make the list? For one, a fiber investment is expensive and the other reason is that Covid indirectly exposed how lacking Internet is in many areas of the US so there is a new level of interest in financing these projects.

Business Evolution

The reality of our times is this: keep up with the market or someone else will.  Interested in still being competetive in your marketplace 25 years from now? Investing in fiber is inevitable. If you are interested in growth, fiber is inevitable. Is speed your thing? Well then fiber is inevitable. If you want to expand your customer base or even just simply retain your customers…say it with us: fiber is inevitable.

As we said earlier, a total business model overhaul is not necessarily required, but expanding the vision is likely needed for WISPs to be in it for the long haul.

Fast Is The Future

If you want to know what consumers think of their Internet options these days, go to any small town in America and ask someone. Anyone. They will likely all say the same thing: The Internet is too slow around here.

Think about it: Netflix (and all the other subscription based streaming options) is our modern day cable or sataillite television. Slow Internet means good luck streaming. If that doesn’t seem all that important to you, consider kids who can’t do their homework or participate in school if it requires being online, watching a video or livestream, uploading homework, and the list goes on.

Bandwidth Is The Future

Remember when we paid for long distance phone calls by the minute? At .25/minute, we kept our conversations short and sweet or we paid dearly. The same is true with Internet. People want/expect/demand access to unlimited bandwidth. Gone are the days of people paying for data caps because “that’s just how it is”. Technology has brought us to a place where it no longer has to be this way, and companies that are meeting this consumer need will come out the winners of people’s hard earned dollars.

Demand for fast Internet is at a fever pitch at this moment in history. Do what’s best for your company, but whatever you do, don’t stick with what you’re doing simply because “this is how we’ve always done it”.

If you have questions about a potential FISP project, feel free to reach out to us!