Wireless ISP Provided Emergency Communications During Katrina

September 9, 2005
September 9, 2005 - (HOSTSEARCH.COM) - The California ISP Association (CISPA), the largest state association of Internet service providers, today announced it will assist municipalities in California that wish to design and deploy wireless Internet service throughout their city.

CISPA, which has more than 100 members that are Internet service providers, is offering technical support, wireless network design support, procurement support, and relationships with local ISPs to help cities develop alternative and affordable broadband Internet service for their residents. CISPA said the need for other forms of communications and Internet service is especially important given the pending mergers of SBC and AT&T and Verizon and MCI, as well as the recent aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"Hurricane Katrina has made it apparent that traditional phone services are unable to survive or recover quickly from a natural disaster," Said Mark Esser, vice president of Wireless Broadband for the California ISP Association. "During the first few hours after the hurricane, only amateur radio and one wireless ISP were able to supply emergency communications to New Orleans. Local and state governments understand more than ever before that they should not rely on a single communications company for primary telecommunications and Internet service."

Hundreds of cities, large and small, are developing plans to wire their towns to provide ubiquitous and affordable high-speed Internet service. In response, legislatures in at least 20 states have proposed or passed legislation trying to block cities from creating wireless networks that compete against the former Bell phone companies and national cable companies. Most of the cable and phone companies have come out in support of state legislation restricting cities from creating affordable wireless Internet service.

Cities interested in further information about CISPA’s wireless assistance program can contact CISPA at ED@cispa.org or visit the CISPA wireless information system at http://cispa.thesupernet.com

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