Because I know so little about what I do and am a product of my generation, I looked to see if there are any podcasts out there for people who do WISPs, I found The Brothers WISP podcast and am now a Patreon subscriber which gives me access to their Slack Channel. Super helpful.
They asked us to submit our 5 tips that we thought would be helpful for other people to know. Figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to throw what I sent in and link to the mini podcast.
My 5 tips for WISPS:
Have a test bench: I read somewhere “everyone has a test network, not everyone has a production network” I have been able to pull off so many changes/upgrades to our network just because I was able to show how the system would work before implementing it. I also have a couple friends who my company serves. They know they are on testing equipment and enjoy buying me beers when I come over to try out “some new hardware”. We are now setting up a test tower that will just be here in the office and be our default settings for all our other towers.
Radios + antennas are just like old flashlights: Remember those old Mag Lights and the light pattern they would make? Dish antennas are the exact same way. If you think you have a good alignment, keep moving the antenna another 20 degrees and see what happens.
Don’t break EIRP: It’s not worth it, get a bigger antenna or fail the customer. Noise only goes up and you can only make so much more noise. (Which everyone else has to hear) Set a minimum signal level and stick to it, be willing to fail a new Install if you can’t get a good signal. You will thank yourself when you are able to get more customers on an AP and push more bandwidth to existing customers. (Far fewer phone calls as well.)
Wireless is not “Set and forget”, Have some sort of monitoring as well as record keeping for signal levels and bandwidth. Call people if they have a rapid drop in signal or their signal has dropped a lot over several months. People will pay more money for longer if you are the one telling them “your internet sux, we want it fixed”.
If you climb towers, have a good safety guy give you classes, if you have employees make them take safety classes and enforce safety policies. If someone routinely breaks safety rules get rid of them, eventually they will cost you a lot of money. Someone called OSHA to report a bunch of false safety violations against us while we were putting up a tower in a competitors area. Because we had our safety guy on site while we were setting up the tower OSHA decided we were not the ones making trouble.
Happy New Year