WISP Resources: WISP To FISP, A To Z: The Top 26 Questions We Receive From WISPs

We hear from a lot of WISP owners who are researching or in the process of shifting to a FISP model in their business. Like any big move in business (and in life!), there are a lot of questions that come with it. We’re fortunate to work with WISPs from around the globe who are at various stages of the process.

No matter where a WISP owner is doing business in the world or how big or small the project, we find that we field many of the same questions time and again. We’ve compiled the 26 most common questions and put the info into a new (and free!) PDF download titled WISP To FISP, A To Z: The Top 26 Questions We Receive From WISPs. You can access this resource by clicking here. We also want to share some of the questions included in the guide here on the blog – here are five of them!

Note: This information is accurate to the best of our knowledge, based on our experience in the field. Treat this information like a Wikipedia page – consider it a good resource but always double check whenever it comes to legal issues, insurance issues, permit issues, costs, and whatnot.

How much does it all cost?

While this is often the first question we’re asked, you really need to answer all the other questions on the list to come up with your answer because there are so many variables in these projects. Not the answer you’re going for, we know, but work through the rest of the questions on this list and we’re confident you will find yourself much closer to an answer on this one!

What architecture should I use? GPON or Active E?

Let’s lay out some of the merits of each option:

Active E (Active Ethernet) – Pros:

  • 1:1 ratio from the OLT to the customer premises – cleaner network
  • Can cover larger distances
  • Max speed regardless of number of users

Active E – Cons:

  • More expensive thank GPON

GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network):

  • Same signal to all end users
  • Last mile installations (~13 miles)
  • More reliable
  • Less expensive

In addition, with GPON, you must consider Centralized or Distributive Split:

Centralized: More traditional approach.

Distributive: Less flexible.

Aerial vs. Buried?

Let’s lay out some of the merits of each option:

Aerial – Pros:

  • Installation can be faster/not always as weather dependent
  • Less expensive on the front end (may cost more to maintain)
  • Since you can see the cable, you don’t have to pay for locates.

Aerial – Cons:

  • Make-ready costs (work on the poles before you can connect)
  • Existing Pole Logistics
    • Who owns?
    • Who maintains?
    • Access costs?
  • Weather/Environment (hurricanes and storms of any kind can be problematic)
  • More network flexibility
  • Equipment – Do you have access to what you need to do the work?

Buried – Pros:

  • Aesthetics – fiber can’t be seen.
  • Can be safer
    • Safer from weather elements
    • Danger of someone else digging
    • Out of sight, out of mind.

Buried – Cons:

  • Topography – The more challenging it is to dig, the more $
  • Equipment – Do you have access to what you need to do the work?
  • More labor intensive/higher costs

Are there grants, funds, or other loans – government or otherwise – for projects like mine?

Often the answer is YES! We’ll list a few resources for you to bookmark and keep an eye on, but as a rule of thumb many of the funds that come available for projects like this are somewhat state-specific so you will want to create Google Alerts for the following terms:

FTTH grants your state

FTTH funding your state

broadband grants your state

broadband funding your state

Not sure how to set up a Google Alert? This quick video will walk you through the steps!

How much do your services cost?

We’re GIS consultants which means we work with many companies, many different ways. Our services are well defined yet flexible so that you can involve us in your project as much – or as little – as you need/want to. Overall, most companies invest in a Feasibility Study that we prepare taking into account all of the info that we gather from you about your goals and your budget combined with the real-time data associated with the potential project area. Our team goes through the Feasibility Study with you so you are clear on how to interpret the data and you understand what your next steps can be.

As you can see, there are not many easy or cut and dry answers to any of this! If you’re interested in seeing the other 21 common questions we receive from WISPs? Grab your free copy of WISP To FISP, A To Z: The Top 26 Questions We Receive From WISPs by clicking here. We hope you find this guide helpful in your continued project research!