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Rachelle Chong and Richard Wolpert Named GeoLinks Board Advisors

Camarillo, Calif., January 26, 2021 (Businesswire) GeoLinks, the fastest growing telecommunications company in California, today announced that Rachelle Chong, a former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, and Richard Wolpert, a pioneer in the fields of software development, technology, consumer digital media and entertainment, have been named Board Advisors, effective immediately.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Rachelle and Richard join us as Advisors as we move GeoLinks forward,” said Skyler Ditchfield, Co-Founder and CEO of GeoLinks. “Rachelle’s extensive knowledge and skill in the broadband space and Richard’s track record of success and innovation will add depth and breadth to our Board. Their expertise, combined with that of our current Board members and Advisors, will be extremely valuable as we strategically grow the company.”

Ms. Chong said, “It’s a great honor to be invited to join GeoLinks as a Board Advisor. The company leadership has tremendous vision and dedication to service to rural residents and anchor institutions like schools and libraries.”

“I am excited to bring my experience, relationships, and strategic background to be working with Skyler Ditchfield and the entire GeoLinks executive team as an advisor as they build upon their rapid growth and continue to innovate the telecom space,” said Mr. Wolpert.

Ms. Chong is a nationally known regulatory expert in the communications, energy and transportation arena, having served as a Commissioner of both the Federal Communications Commission (1994-1999) and the California Public Utilities Commission (2006-2009). A career regulatory lawyer, she has served as general counsel to two start-ups, Broadband Office and Sidecar, as Special Counsel to the State CIO, in addition to serving as a law partner at the international law firms of Graham & James (San Francisco) and Coudert Brothers (San Francisco). Ms. Chong has also served on various corporate boards, including Authorize.net, Corsair, and pdvWireless (now Anterix), and has served on non-profit organization boards including Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area, The California Foundation for the Environment and the Economy, and the Legal Services Trust Fund. She currently serves on the T-Mobile External Diversity and Inclusion Council.

Mr. Wolpert has been a pioneer in the fields of software development, technology, consumer digital media and entertainment for more than 30 years. He is a successful four-time founder/CEO with three exits to Adobe, Warehouse Music and Real Networks. His fourth company, HelloTech, has become the go-to provider for tech support and smart home installation. He is a seasoned executive, having held roles as President of Disney Online (1995-1998) and Chief Strategy Officer for RealNetworks (2003-2007).

Mr. Wolpert is responsible for many “firsts” throughout his career including conceiving of and teaching the first Macintosh Programming Class at Stanford University (CS 193C), the first multi-user address book for the Macintosh (TouchBase), the first kids internet subscription service (Disney’s Daily Blast), the first Tivo-like product for Internet Radio (BitBopTuner), the first legitimate music subscription service for the Internet (MusicNet), and the first legitimate online movie subscription service (Starz! On Demand). He successfully negotiated ground breaking deals with several of the major media companies whose content became the basis for many of these products. Mr. Wolpert is the author of the book The Soul of A Deal.

Mr. Wolpert is a member of the Board of UCLA School of Theater Film and Television, a member of the Board of Governors of Cedars Sinai Hospital, a longtime Board Member and previous President of Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Founder of CCFA’s Camp Oasis and a Trustee of The Grayson Wolpert Memorial Fund.

GeoLinks Board Members include Skyler Ditchfield, Co-Founder and CEO, GeoLinks; Ryan Adams, President and COO, GeoLinks; Ryan Hauf, CTO, GeoLinks; Tom Krause, Ph.D., innovator, entrepreneur and consultant and Chairman of the Board, GeoLinks; and David Stonehill, Founder, Managing Partner, Rock Mountain Capital.

Board Advisors include Louis Fox, President & CEO of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) and Van E. Snowdon, esteemed wireless telecom and technology industry executive. Mr. Fox is President & CEO of CENIC, a non-profit corporation that provides broadband networks for education, libraries, university medical centers, centers for the arts, and research in California. Over 12,000 institutions connect to the CENIC network. Mr. Snowdon has 40 years of experience in developing and operating domestic and international emerging wireless telecom and technology businesses. He has participated in over $2 billion of global equity and debt transactions.

 

GeoLinks

GeoLinks is one of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies, nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Hosted Voice solutions. Headquartered in Southern California and ranked on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America three-years running, GeoLinks delivers Enterprise-Grade Internet, Digital Voice, SD-WAN, Cloud On-ramping, Layer 2 Transport, and both Public and Private Turnkey Network Construction expertly tailored for businesses and Anchor Institutions nationwide. More information on the company can be found at www.GeoLinks.com.

 

###

Contact

Abbe Serphos

917-699-9661

[email protected]

From POTS to VoIP – A Look at Today’s Top Phone Systems for Business

Pros and Cons of Hosted VoIP Phone Systems (Hosted PBX) and On-premises IP PBX Phone Systems
January 5th, 2021 [UPDATED]
Originally Published on July 24th, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Hosted VoIP Phone Systems (Hosted PBX) and On-premises IP PBX Phone Systems

The modern-day analog telephone service – commonly referred to as a plain old telephone system (POTS) – can be accredited to numerous individuals throughout history. But it was Alexander Graham Bell who, in 1876, was the first to patent the technology as an “apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically.” Fast forward to today, and many small businesses still use this archaic technology. However, the good news is that while a portion of society has yet to venture away from this 144-year-old system, the world has progressed, and far superior options are available in the marketplace.

These options include on-premises private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems and Hosted VoIP phone systems (also known as Hosted PBX services). To get your business familiar with these communications system service offerings, GeoLinks has put together this walkthrough on the pros and cons of each service so you can decide what’s right for your company.

What is an On-premises PBX?

 
What is an on-premises PBX?
 

An on-premises PBX resides physically on-site at a business. We’ve provided a more detailed overview of PBXs and other phone systems here. Still, for a quick definition, dictionary.com defines a PBX as a “manually or automatically operated telephone facility that handles communications within an office, office building, or organization and that is connected to the public telephone network.”

Many of today’s on-premises PBX systems are IP-PBX systems. The primary difference between a traditional PBX and an IP-PBX is that in an IP-PBX, the signaling is internet protocol (IP)-based, and routing and features are more software-based than hardware-based. Voice calls are managed via “voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP),” which converts voice into digital signals, allowing businesses to make voice calls over networks using IP. VoIP is used both in private company networks and in telephone services delivered over the public Internet.

The Pros and Cons of On-Premises IP-PBX

On-premises IP-PBX Pros:

  • Control – Customization and flexibility over your phone system
  • Integration – Integrates with company software programs such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
  • Fixed Price – No risks of fee increases after the installation (though maintenance and upgrade costs can add up)

On-premises IP-PBX Cons:

  • Costs – Upfront costs are typically steep
  • Maintenance – Maintenance costs are your responsibility, and some businesses may not have enough internal IT resources or the budget to make difficult, expensive, or highly customized changes
  • Slow Setup or Repair – Initial deployment time or repair may take longer
  • Reconfigurations – Adds, changes and removals are your responsibility
  • Consumes IT Personnel and Resources – Ties up valuable internal IT resources in routine maintenance
  • Costly Outages – Outages can take down all sales and service operations.

What is Hosted Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and How Does it Compare to a Traditional or IP PBX?

Hosted VoIP delivers PBX-level services over the Internet. For this reason, the term “Hosted PBX” is often used to describe Hosted VoIP. The terms are interchangeable.

The Pros and Cons of Hosted VoIP / Hosted PBX

Hosted VoIP Pros:

  • Cost Savings – Lower initial equipment cost and setup costs than an on-premises PBX. Plus, leading hosted VoIP providers, such as GeoLinks, can save companies up to 40% compared to traditional phone lines
  • OpEx vs. CapEx Benefits – Many companies value the ability to treat their communications as an operational expenditure instead of the long-term depreciation treatment of an on-site PBX as a capital expenditure
  • Always Up to Date – Software updates happen automatically, so your system is always up to date
  • Ease of Use – Hosted VoIP is simpler to install, configure, and maintain than premises-based services
  • Mobility & Remote Work Enablement – With Hosted VoIP’s ability to support Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), a user can make and take calls from anywhere with an Internet connection on a standard office phone, a computer, tablet, or mobile softphone. Increases in remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in 42% of the U.S. labor force working from home full-time (which Hosted VoIP enables). Accordingly, some businesses will permanently adopt remote workforce models to reduce or avoid altogether the costs associated with maintaining in-building offices
  • Enterprise-grade Features – Modern, up-to-date and always-improving features without needing to upgrade your phone system. Examples include enterprise-grade features such as call queues, auto-attendant, call forwarding, music-on-hold and unified communications, to name a few
  • Outsourced Maintenance – Your provider shoulders all the work, risk, and complexity, thus creating less dependency on costly in-house IT resources
  • Business Continuity – The cloud-based model delivers business continuity benefits (such as routing calls to mobile phones during outages)
  • Scale on-demand – Hosted VoIP systems scale with your needs
  • Application Integration – Hosted VoIP service providers design integrations between their phone systems with numerous other business applications companies typically use, including email services, social media, web browsers, IM/SMS/MMS services, CRMs, etc.
  • No Equipment Required – In a Hosted VoIP environment, a business no longer has to shoulder costly on-site hardware and equipment purchases and upgrades—voice communication occurs entirely over the Internet through downloadable applications with data stored in the cloud. (NOTE: Many businesses invest in VoIP desktop phones for user convenience).

Hosted VoIP Cons:

  • Bandwidth Dependency – Since Hosted VoIP functions over the Internet, it’s critical to have available and reliable bandwidth to complete calls. Thus, if you’re on a poor Internet connection, you may struggle with both inbound and outbound calls. Quick fix? Upgrade your bandwidth, sign up for a dedicated Internet circuit, so you never have to share your bandwidth, or bundle in an SD-WAN solution to prioritize your voice traffic.
  • Voice Quality – Once again, because Hosted VoIP depends on the Internet, your call quality may suffer if you experience latency. Thus, ensure that you have a high-quality Internet circuit with dedicated Voice QoS before upgrading.

 
Upgrading to a hosted IP-PBX
 

Learn more about upgrading from an on-premises PBX to a Hosted PBX in our article “Migrating from on-premise IP-PBX to Hosted IP-PBX.

 

Ready to Try GeoLinks Hosted VoIP and Hosted PBX Solutions?

Call GeoLinks today and talk to one of our in-house experts to learn how to build the right-sized communications system for your business.

Contact GeoLinks
 
 

Need a VoIP Phone System Immediately?

Talk with a GeoLinks Hosted VoIP & Hosted PBX specialist now.

Call 888.225.1571.
Call GeoLinks
 
 
1 https://www.voip-info.org/hosted-pbx-vs-on-premise-pbx/

Should Your Business Upgrade to Hosted VoIP?

Have you considered upgrading your business phone system? If so, there’s a good chance you recognize hosted VoIP as a modern, cloud-based solution. Hosted VoIP solutions – sometimes referred to as hosted PBX solutions – offer many advantages over traditional on-site PBXs or other analog setups, which is why it’s a favorite among businesses looking to upgrade their phone systems. Let’s cover a few key differences between those systems before we dive into those advantages.

Traditional PBX Phone Systems

Many businesses leverage a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to manage their voice network. PBX phone systems create an internal exchange network that connects all phones within a business location, creating a cost-benefit as businesses can have more phones than phone lines. They also facilitate free calls between users. PBX phone systems also allow companies to utilize other essential call features like call transfers, conferencing, auto-attendants and more. PBX phone systems can use several types of transmission protocols, including VoIP, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), session-initiated protocol (SIP) or analog connections. Traditionally, PBX phone systems consist of on-premises hardware that’s monitored and maintained in-house.

What Is Hosted VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) refers to a specific protocol used to convert phone calls into data packets that transmit calls over networks. VoIP is widely considered an application rather than a piece of hardware, like a traditional PBX, which explains why some PBX frameworks use VoIP as an application for voice transmission.

Hosted VoIP phone systems do not require an on-premise PBX to work. A hosted VoIP solution migrates all of an on-site PBX’s duties to an off-site VoIP provider’s platform. (Note: Hosted VoIP solutions are also known as hosted PBX solutions). Using a “hosted” solution delivers communications as a paid service – often tracked as an operating expense (OpEx) rather than a capital expenditure (CapEx).

The Advantages of Hosted VoIP

Hosted VoIP services deliver many tangible benefits, including:

  1. Business Continuity. From global pandemics to severe weather, external events can bring business operations to a halt quickly—sometimes instantly. With these risks in mind, cloud-based phone systems can deliver vital business continuity, allowing your business to transition communications to another location or a work-from-home environment promptly.
  2. No Up-Front Capital Costs. Removing the need for on-premise phone systems eliminates the need for the heavy up-front capital requirements for on-site equipment and installation. This transition to a pay-as-you-go operational expense is an attractive feature for many businesses.
  3. No Hardware, No Maintenance. Hosted VoIP moves hardware (except for desktop phones and handsets) maintenance and upgrades off-site to be handled by a trusted VoIP provider. This outsourcing of routine maintenance frees up your internal IT resources for high-value projects and ensures that your system is always up to date.
  4. Scale at Will. As your business grows, your need to scale communications systems is essential, whether it’s a matter of adding more seats and phones or adding new features. While on-premises systems require seat purchasing in volume-based increments or over-purchasing in advance in an attempt to “future-proof” them, hosted VoIP providers can scale precisely to your needs. No empty seats. No wasted money.
  5. Always Up to Date. Your hosted VoIP provider remotely manages your system, ensuring that you’re always running the latest technology and security patches and are never out of date.
  6. Customized Functionality. Hosted VoIP empowers your business to customize phone functionality based on how and where you want to use it, tailorable to an individual user or department needs.

Hosted VoIP Systems for Business

Hosted VoIP systems provide essential contact center features, ensuring (and often enhancing) operational capabilities. Features include:

  • Call Queues
  • Conference Calling
  • Music on Hold
  • Voicemail to Email
  • Fax to Email
  • Toll-Free Numbers
  • Softphone
  • Auto Attendant
  • Follow Me
  • Etc.

So, Is Hosted VoIP Right for Your Business?

Since hosted VoIP is a proven solution that delivers tangible benefits on many fronts, the answer to this question is almost certainly “yes.” Still, the provider you choose is vital to getting the most from your upgrade. As one of the industry’s top digital voice solutions providers, we’d love to provide you with a quote or schedule a demo to show you how our hosted VoIP solution can help your company.

Ready to Upgrade to Hosted VoIP?

Contact Us Today!

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5 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best ISP for Your Business

December 22nd, 2020 [UPDATED]
Originally Published May 31st, 2019

How do you choose the best business Internet Service Provider?

With the proliferation of cloud services, and day-to-day business operations becoming increasingly reliant on the Internet, choosing the right business Internet Service Provider (ISP) is more important than ever. Businesses located in markets with many broadband providers, such as in Los Angeles or Orange County, have plenty of options. We’ve prepared a guide to help you find the right provider for your needs.

Understanding the business Internet options available to you upfront can help you get the most from our guide and land on the right ISP. Practical evaluation starts with the type of Internet service itself, which can inform your ISP selection.

Types of Internet Connections for Business

  • Cable Internet – Cable is a widely available Internet service that uses coaxial cable lines (the same that deliver cable TV) to provide a broadband Internet connection to your business.
  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Internet – DSL is another widely available Internet connection because it uses standard phone lines to deliver broadband access.
  • Fixed Wireless Internet Fixed Wireless Internet delivers broadband access using a tower, antenna, and an express line of sight (LoS), and a fiber-optic backbone. Towers broadcast a wireless signal (via radio waves) to the antenna at the business location.
  • Fiber Optic Internet – Fiber service connections use fiber optic cables that run directly from the ISP to the business location.
  • Satellite Internet – Satellite delivers broadband access via an Internet signal to a satellite in space that’s passed to a dish at the business location.

These Internet options vary by availability, performance, reliability and cost. Evaluating your business needs on these criteria is vital to selecting the right Internet service for your business.

5 Factors for Choosing Your Next ISP

1. Reputation

One reliable way to vet a new provider is through reputation research. Whether this consists of reading through online reviews posted on Yelp or Google, or speaking directly with neighboring businesses, understanding an ISP’s reputation is a sound method of narrowing your options.

TIP: Many providers offer both residential and business services, which have different needs and expectations for uptime, quality-of-service (QoS), and more. Be conscious of the type of customer when evaluating reviews.

2. Service Level Agreements (SLA)

A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contractual commitment between an Internet service provider and a customer. An ISP’s SLA should provide guaranteed service metrics such as uptime, latency, jitter, packet loss, and response/repair time. For example, GeoLinks’ SLA offers the following service targets:

  • Response Priority: Critical: 4hrs or less
  • Network Quality of Service
  • Network Availability: Target of at least 99.999% uptime
  • Round Trip Latency Under 40ms
  • Jitter under 10ms
  • Packet loss target < 0.1%

Note that some Internet providers don’t offer guaranteed service levels at all. In fact, a variety of providers avoid service-level commitments altogether with language like this:

“X company does not warrant that the service will be uninterrupted or error-free nor make any warranty as to the results obtained from the use of the service. X company does not guarantee connectivity at any time, for any length of time or at any particular speed.”

Make sure you carefully research an ISP’s SLA before sourcing that provider for your services.

 
Best Internet Service Provider Customer Support
 

3. Customer Support

In an ideal world, you’d never have to engage with your ISP following service installation. That’s simply not the case.

Whether you have billing questions, experience service issues, need technical support, have upgrade inquiries or product add-ons, at some point or another, you’ll need to engage with your ISP’s customer support team. Research the quality of support the company offers before signing up.

Giant ISPs make you sit through automated phone menus, place you on lengthy holds, and may eventually transfer you to a contracted party outside of the U.S. You can do better—even from companies with cutting-edge technology. GeoLinks, for example, offers 24/7 in-house customer support, and customers can even ask for support reps by name.

And don’t overlook responsiveness. If your business does experience a technical issue, how long does it take your provider to respond and address the problem? Time is money, so whether it’s hours wasted on hold or weeks waiting on a repair, how your ISP handles customer relations directly affects your company’s line.

4. Agility and Flexibility

As a business grows and changes, its overall telecom needs will as well. For example, a law firm hiring ten new associates is likely to need a bandwidth upgrade. The scope of services you need may change over time as well, and some providers offer business phone and Internet bundles to streamline telecom – and billing – needs with a single provider.

Some ISPs offer additional services such as VoIP and SD-WAN, while others do not. When selecting your ISP, you need to make sure you explore their entire product suite and service offerings. All of this can become time-consuming and burdensome.

Choosing an aggregator (an ISP that is capable of reselling multiple ISP products and services) such as GeoLinks, ensures that no matter the growth or changes in your business, you can rely on a single provider to upgrade and adapt to your evolving business needs.

 
Business Internet Bandwidth Requirements
 

5. Bandwidth Availability

If you don’t know how much Internet bandwidth your company needs, check out “Your Guide to Determining Bandwidth Requirements.” Understanding your bandwidth needs is essential to ensuring that you’re sourcing an ISP that can provide the speeds your company needs.

Bandwidth availability may fluctuate from carrier to carrier based on your location and the type of Internet access you are looking for (i.e., Fiber vs. Fixed Wireless vs. DSL, etc.). Furthermore, if it does appear the ISP offers what you are looking for, make sure you understand whether you’d be getting a dedicated or shared circuit, as this factor also will impact the reliability and consistency of speeds.

Is GeoLinks the right ISP for your business?

Chat with one of our in-house experts to see if one of GeoLinks’ business Internet services is right for your business.

Request a Quote
 
 

Need Internet Immediately?

Talk with a GeoLinks Internet specialist now.
Call 888.225.1571

Call GeoLinks

GeoLinks, California’s Fastest Growing Telecom Company Raises Private Equity Funding from Group Led by Rock Mountain Capital

CAMARILLO, Calif.GeoLinks, the fastest growing telecommunications company in California, today announced it has secured a significant minority investment from a group led by Rock Mountain Capital (RMC). The investment will power GeoLinks’ accelerated network expansion plans, amplify funding for strategic acquisitions and streamline internal growth and operations.

“GeoLinks launched with the goal of disrupting a multibillion-dollar telecom industry,” said GeoLinks Co-Founder and CEO, Skyler Ditchfield. “We’ve done that by operationalizing a simple, yet profound idea – do everything better and treat your customer how you would like to be treated. Through strategic network growth, technological innovation and unwavering dedication, we’ve continued to deliver high-speed connectivity to more businesses, schools, libraries, hospitals and households throughout California and Nevada every day. Partnering with a premier team from Rock Mountain Capital allows us to scale our growth while reaching more customers in our coverage area and continuing to grow our network.”

“As the largest winner of Connect America Fund II programs in California, and with its cutting-edge fixed wireless technology, GeoLinks is poised for exciting growth over the next decade to meet increased demand for universal high-speed broadband access,” said David Stonehill, Founder and Managing Partner of Rock Mountain Capital. “Skyler Ditchfield and the management team at GeoLinks have an outstanding track record building and operating high-speed, high-quality broadband networks throughout California. With RMC’s support, we are confident the GeoLinks team will continue its technological innovation, stellar customer service and rapid rate of organic growth, and will serve as a platform for potential industry consolidation.”

The investment comes at a time when the company is in the process of deploying its revolutionary ClearFiber+ technology across one of the fastest growing fixed wireless networks in the nation. Capable of connecting businesses and anchors institutions to multigigabit networks in less than 10 days, GeoLinks owns exclusive rights to utilize the technology platform in key spectrum bands throughout the United States. Together with its recent acquisition of network assets and 5G spectrum licenses from TPx Communications, GeoLinks owns the largest coverage area of any single provider in California. Combined with its existing position as one of the fastest growing private companies in America, the company is poised for exponential growth over the next year.

Bank Street Group served as exclusive financial advisor to GeoLinks in connection with this transaction.

For more information on GeoLinks, including new product launches and strategic initiatives, please visit www.GeoLinks.com. For more information on Rock Mountain Capital, please visit www.RockMountainCapital.com.

For media inquiries involving GeoLinks, please contact Ben Gallagher at [email protected] or (805) 276-8322. For inquiries involving Rock Mountain Capital, please contact Abbe Serphos at [email protected] or (917) 699-9661.

 

About GeoLinks

Headquartered in Southern California, GeoLinks is a leading telecommunications company and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) public utility, nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Hosted Voice solutions. Ranked on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America three-years running, GeoLinks delivers Enterprise-Grade Internet, Digital Voice, SD-WANCloud On-ramping, Layer 2 Transport, and both Public and Private Turnkey Network Construction expertly tailored for businesses and Anchor Institutions nationwide.

 

About Rock Mountain Capital

Rock Mountain Capital works with entrepreneurs and management teams in the consumer goods & services, leisure & entertainment, and technology, media & telecom (TMT) sectors to accelerate organizational development, execute on organic growth opportunities and pursue strategic M&A and roll-up / consolidation strategies. Rock Mountain invests capital that matches its investment mandate – patient, long-term capital sourced from family offices of successful entrepreneurs, and other like-minded institutional investors. Rock Mountain was founded in 2019 by private equity industry veterans who bring over 30 years of experience investing in and growing middle market companies.

What Does a Fixed Wireless Business Internet Installation Look Like?

Fixed Wireless Internet Installations for Business – What to Expect
October 27th, 2020 [UPDATED]
Originally Published on January 15th, 2019

Fixed Wireless Business Internet Installations – What to Expect

Fixed Wireless Internet providers deliver high-speed broadband access to a single location via radio waves. Capable of delivering gigabit speeds with identical jitter and latency to fiber, Fixed Wireless Internet circuits can be installed at your business in a fraction of the time, and for a fraction of the cost, of competing technologies. Want to learn more about Fixed Wireless Internet? Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8GvGOKCpnk

How Does Fixed Wireless Internet Work?

Fixed wireless Internet uses a dish antenna that is affixed to the roof of your company’s building and connected to your server room or router through a cable, and beams an Internet signal into your location through radio waves from the nearest tower.

how does fixed wireless internet work diagram

How Does Fixed Wireless Internet Installation Compare to Other Types of Internet?

The table below outlines how fixed wireless Internet compares to fiber, cable, DSL and satellite Internet connections:

Fixed Wireless Business Internet Installation Comparison Chart

So, what does a Fixed Wireless Business Internet installation look like?

 

Prior to Circuit Installation

In order to deliver high-speed Internet access, a Fixed Wireless Internet service provider must first confirm a client’s business location has an express line of sight (LOS) to a nearby Base Station (telecom tower). While different wireless business Internet providers may administer varying methods to confirm LOS, most Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) encounter situations where a site visit is sometimes needed to confirm serviceability. Typically, a roof access form (RAF) is required from the building owner or property management company prior to conducting a site visit. Assuming access is granted, on-site techs can then confirm LOS and test signal strength from the intended installation point.

Not sure how much bandwidth your business needs? Check out our simple guide by clicking here. 

Installing Fixed Wireless Internet Circuits

Every WISP has its own unique installation process and preferred equipment. For the purpose of this post, we will specifically examine GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet installations. Fully insured with coverage that meets property management and owner requirements, all GeoLinks’ installations are managed by our team of experienced technicians that consider visual aesthetics and building and city code compliance.

Fixed Wireless Internet Installation Equipment

GeoLinks Installation Equipment

Subscriber – When installing a ClearFiber™ circuit, a “Subscriber” unit, also referred to as Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), is placed on the roof of the client’s building. While Subscribers can vary based on the service ordered and location of the customer premises, the average GeoLinks’ Subscriber dimensions measure 24 – 36 inches in diameter and weigh between 5 – 20lbs. The Subscriber is responsible for transmitting the wireless signal from the Base Station to the customer premise, and vice versa.

Non-Penetrating Roof Mount – The Subscriber is mounted directly to a non-penetrating roof mount. This is a 36in self-supporting, square angle steel frame with a 60in x 2in diameter mast designed specifically for antenna installation. It does not damage or require any mounting to the roof.

Rubber Mat and Blocks – Included as part of GeoLinks’ installation is an outdoor anti-skid rubber mat, placed directly under the non-penetrating roof mount. This outdoor weatherized mat is used to protect the roof and measures 36in x 36in x 1/8in. Depending upon Subscriber height, 6in x 8in x 16in concrete blocks are placed evenly around the base to stabilize the roof mount. The average install requires 6 to 8 bricks, with each brick weighing about 30lbs.

Cable – Once the Subscriber is installed and secured, an exterior outdoor rated Cat5e cable is run through a pre-existing vent or access point of the roof directly to the customer’s network room. This cable is plugged into a Power Over Ethernet (PoE) power supply that powers the subscriber and delivers service to the customer.

How Long Does it Take to Get Installed?

Just like most business services, fixed wireless Internet installation periods vary from provider to provider. GeoLinks prides itself on having one of the industry’s shortest installation periods. Our expertly trained technicians can connect businesses in as little as 24 hours. For larger circuits, we average between 7 to 10 business days.

Why Should Your Business Install Fixed Wireless at Your Location?

When your company chooses GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet, you benefit from:

  • True Network Redundancy
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Guaranteed Speeds up to 10Gbps
  • 24/7 U.S-Based Customer Support & IT Expert Access
  • 99.9999% Uptime Guarantee backed by an Industry-Leading SLA

It doesn’t matter your size, whether you’re a single-location small business or multi-location enterprise corporation looking for a reliable fixed wireless Internet connection, we’ve got you covered.

Plus, GeoLinks isn’t just an Internet connectivity provider. We offer over-the-top Hosted Voice communications solutions and IP phones to keep your business always communicating.

Questions About Fixed Wireless Installations?

GeoLinks in-house Client Consultants are available to assist with any questions you may have regarding your business installation or service. To speak to a GeoLinks’ Client Consultant call (888) 225-1571 option 2.

Ready to Try ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet?

Contact a GeoLinks Internet Specialist Today

Request a Quote

 

 

Need Internet Immediately?

Call 888.225.1571.

Call GeoLinks

What are the Best Rural Business Internet Options?

October 19th, 2020 [UPDATED]
Originally Published January 22nd, 2019

The Pros and Cons of Different Rural Business Internet Options

BroadbandNow Research reports that more than 41 million Americans don’t have access to broadband Internet. Similarly, a 2018 study conducted by Microsoft found that 162.8 million people still did “not use the Internet at broadband speeds.” Why? Inflated costs, poor availability, slow deployment, terrestrial restraints, and misguided land and airwave regulations contribute to a lack of broadband infrastructure in rural communities across America. Resulting inequalities in finances, education, and social status, encountered by those without access to the Internet versus those who do, has been coined the U.S. Digital Divide.

According to GeoLinks’GeoLinks’ Co-Founder and CEO Skyler Ditchfield, there are “Five Crucial Steps Needed To Close The U.S. Digital Divide.” The final and arguably most imperative item listed is America’s need to adopt a technology-agnostic, hybrid approach to broadband development. While technologies such as 5G and fiber were are prominent buzzwords, Fixed Wireless Internet, digital subscriber line (DSL), satellite, and cable all play an equally vital role in closing the divide.

When your company is deciding how to upgrade your connection (or get connected for the first time), it’s vital to compare business Internet providers and evaluate the services they offer. Learning about all the different rural business Internet options and their pros and cons will help you make a choice that’s right for your business. To that end, GeoLinks has put together this comparison guide of the different options available to rural businesses.

*Note that Dial-up Internet access is technically an option available in rural areas. Still, due to the requirements of always-on and reliable connections for business continuity in today’s marketplace, and with less than 0.3% of all Americans still using dial-up according to a study in 2018, dial-up isn’t discussed as a viable Internet option for rural businesses.

So, what technologies from business Internet Providers are available in rural America? Here are the pros and cons of various Rural Internet options:

Pros and Cons of Internet Options

Pros and Cons of Internet Options

Fixed Wireless Broadband Internet

Fixed wireless Internet providers serve high-speed broadband Internet access to a single location via radio waves. While capable of servicing suburban and urban communities, Fixed Wireless Internet is most widely known for reaching and connecting rural America quickly.

Pros of Fixed-Wireless Internet:

  • Quick to deploy – Fixed Wireless Internet networks are deployable in a fraction of the time of competing wired technologies. For example, GeoLinks ClearFiber™ fixed wireless Internet can be deployed in seven to 10 business days.
  • Cost-effective – by avoiding costly trenching, fixed wireless Internet networks are far less expensive to build and have a lower impact on the environment.
  • Widely available – because they use radio waves, fixed wireless Internet networks can reach areas “off the grid,” such as rural America.
  • Uptime – Fixed wireless Internet networks, like those engineered by GeoLinks, have multipoint redundancy built-in. Each circuit installed has at least one additional fixed wireless backhaul – often more – linking to a fiber connection, which provides always-on connectivity with 99.9999% uptime.
  • Unlimited Bandwidth – With ClearFiber™ fixed wireless Internet, your business gets unlimited bandwidth with no throttling or capping like satellite providers.

Cons of Fixed-Wireless Internet:

  • Line of Sight (LOS) – because circuits require direct LOS, trees or large buildings in the connection path can cause signal interference.
  • Bandwidth Cost – Bandwidth can be more expensive than DSL, Cable, and some Satellite providers.
  • dsl cable rural internet

    DSL Broadband 

    DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) broadband is a wireline technology that transmits data over traditional copper telephone lines installed to homes and businesses. Because it operates on pre-existing phone lines, DSL can be quickly installed when infrastructure is present.

    Pros of DSL Internet:

    • Accessible – because DSL runs through phone lines, it ‘sit’s more widely available nationwide. (According to broadbandnow.com, DSL has 90% coverage nationwide.)
    • It’s relatively inexpensive – the cost to install and maintain is less than many other broadband technologies, such as Fiber.

    Cons of DSL Internet:

    • Slow speeds – rural DSL speeds are generally between 128 Kbps – 3 Mbps.
    • Inconsistent network quality – because circuit quality relies heavily on the distance from an ISP’s ISP’s central hub, a significant problem for many businesses in rural areas, speeds and network reliability are inconsistent.

    Satellite Internet Vs. Fixed Wireless - GeoLinks

    Satellite Internet

    Satellite Internet beams data from your Internet provider to a satellite in space and then back to a dish at a user’s location. Historically, the technology’s primary use has been to connect businesses in rural areas that don’t have access to wired services.

    Pros of Satellite Internet:

    • Expansive availability – because it transmits to a satellite in space, it ‘sit’s available virtually anywhere on earth.
    • Decent speeds – delivering speeds up to 100 Mbps, Satellite is faster than DSL.

    Cons of Satellite Internet:

    • Latency issues – Satellite has inherent latency issues – this is especially problematic with video conferencing and VoIP applications.
    • Unreliable – circuit quality is susceptible to moisture (weather) and objects, such as trees and vegetation.
    • High cost – Satellite Internet is one of the most expensive broadband technologies on the market.

    cable broadband rural internet

    Cable Broadband

    Cable Broadband utilizes a modem to access the Internet through the same coaxial cables that deliver pictures and sound to a user’s television. Mainly used to service residential customers, cable networks are considered shared circuits.

    Pros of Cable Broadband Internet:

    • Easy and quick to install – because it uses existing infrastructure, it sometimes can be immediately available.
    • Faster – Capacity to be substantially faster than other types of broadband connections such as satellite and DSL.

    Cons of Cable Broadband:

    • Unreliable connection – Cable connections are shared with nearby users, causing performance issues, such as varying speeds, during peak usage times.
    • Rural limitations – due to the lack of infrastructure extending outside of urban communities, cable often is unavailable.

    cellular mobile broadband rural internet

    Cellular Mobile Broadband Internet

    Mobile broadband delivers Internet connectivity over a mobile network – the same infrastructure utilized by your smartphone. Mobile broadband is accessible via portable wireless hotspots and wireless modems from anywhere with a cellular connection.

    Pros of Mobile Broadband:

    • Easy access – assuming there is reception in the area, it has the potential to be immediately available.
    • Quick and easy install – the “plug and play feature” of this technology eliminates the need for physical cables, phone lines, or an electricity source.

    Cons of Mobile Broadband:

    • Inconsistent coverage – If you live in a remote area, you may not get cellular reception, preventing access altogether.
    • Unreliable performance – Average rural mobile speeds fall around 12 to 15 Mbps and fluctuate depending on location and the number of people connected to the network.
    • Capped data usage – To prevent network saturation, mobile broadband plans typically come with data caps. Overages can be expensive.

    flexible fiberoptic internet

    Fiber Broadband Internet

    Fiber broadband provides Internet access by converting electrical signals carrying data to light and sends the light through transparent glass fibers. It is one of, if not the most requested broadband technology on the market.

    Pros of Fiber Broadband:

    • Speed – Fiber can deliver multi-gig speeds making it one of the fastest broadband options on the market alongside fixed wireless.
    • Scalable and flexible bandwidth – once installed, bandwidth can be increased or decreased almost on-demand.

    Cons of Fiber Broadband:

    • Not available everywhere – Fiber is currently available in only 32% of the country.
    • Expensive and slow to deploy – fiber optic cable is exceptionally costly to deploy and requires trenching (often stalled by lengthy permitting processes.)

    Comparing the Pros and Cons of Rural Business Internet Options

    Rural Business Internet Comparison Chart
     

    While there are advantages and disadvantages to each Rural Business Internet option, these technologies can be strategically deployed to create a ubiquitous solution capable of delivering multi-gigabit bandwidth to communities across the country. This technology-agnostic, hybrid network approach is key to closing the digital divide.

    Ready to Try GeoLinks’ Rural Business Internet Option ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet?

    Request a Quote
     
     
     

    Need Internet Immediately?

    Talk with a GeoLinks Internet specialist now.
    Call 888.225.1571
    Call GeoLinks

    Closing the Homework Gap – GeoLinks Connects Borrego Springs Students to Distance Learning Program

    In rural locations throughout the country, the Digital Divide has long been easier to discern than in more densely populated locales. For Borrego Springs Unified School District (BSUSD) in San Diego County, Calif., the reality of this scenario has been highlighted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In one pocket of its jurisdiction, a concentrated group of students remained completely isolated from the district’s new online learning environment, with most of them unable to log on in any capacity. After exhaustive efforts to provide means of connectivity for its students, district officials contacted GeoLinks. Moving quickly, our network team engineered and deployed a 50Mbps/25Mbps circuit to the area, free of charge to the district and its constituents.

    “I grew up in a rural area similar to the one we recently connected for the Borrego Springs Unified School District,” said Skyler Ditchfield, GeoLinks CoFounder and CEO. “At GeoLinks, we’re doing our part to make sure that every child has equitable access to the internet. Without it, we might be hindering the growth of the next generation of great American innovators.”

    GeoLinks has focused deployment efforts on connecting rural schools and libraries throughout the state of California and beyond for the last several years. A proud member of the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB) and Corporate Partner of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), Geolinks was the largest construction grant winner for Calif. K-12 schools and libraries four out of the last five years. Providing dedicated internet access throughout our network, we connect anchor institutions to enterprise networks at a fraction of the cost and timeframe required for fiber deployments.

    For more information on GeoLinks, including our efforts to close the Digital Divide, visit www.GeoLinks.com/ConnectAmerica.

    Does Weather Affect Fixed Wireless?

    Does Weather Affect Fixed Wireless?
    October 10th, 2020 [UPDATED]
    First Published January 4th, 2019

    Can Weather Affect a Fixed Wireless Internet Connection?

    The majority of businesses today have become intrinsically reliant on the Internet. From serving as an accessible means to communicate globally, to hosting e-commerce stores, to conducting online credit transactions and transfers, high-speed Internet connections have become paramount for businesses of all sizes. There are numerous broadband technologies to consider when shopping in today’s business marketplace— from DSL to copper, to fiber, to satellite, to fixed wireless Internet.

    When exploring fixed wireless connections, a variety of questions may come to mind. For example, is fixed wireless Internet reliable? Is fixed wireless Internet affected by weather? Does fixed wireless Internet perform as well as a wired connection?

    To answer these questions, let’s first take a step back and ask the foundational question, “what is fixed wireless Internet?

    what is fixed wireless

    What is Fixed Wireless Internet?

    Fixed wireless provides high-speed broadband Internet access to a single location via radio waves. By utilizing antennas, towers, and an express line of sight (LoS) to transmit point-to-point and point-to-multi-point signals, fixed wireless technology is deployable in a fraction of the time – and for a fraction of the cost – of terrestrial fiber. Unlike a standard Wi-Fi connection, fixed wireless networks can be directionally focused to produce dedicated speeds of up to 10 Gbps. When configured correctly, fixed wireless technology can withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, high winds, and severe temperatures, both hot and cold, with the ability to operate over licensed or unlicensed wireless spectrum.

    Why Has Fixed Wireless Internet Developed a Bad Reputation?

    Although trusted and utilized by global militaries and law enforcement for upwards of a century, over the years of perfecting fixed wireless for commercial use, many small carriers deployed inexpensive equipment that operated across only one frequency. This practice caused a multitude of problems, including interference from other links in the surrounding area. The result? A deceiving reputation for being slow, unreliable, and inferior to wired networks.

    Another common misconception that has been tagged to fixed wireless technology is that it is equivalent to satellite Internet quality of service (QoS). Satellite Internet, which is notoriously known for its high latency, operates by transmitting signals from a dish to a satellite orbiting more than 20,000 miles above the earth. This distance is drastically different than a 20-mile point-to-point fixed wireless link.

    GeoLinks has put all the misconceptions about fixed wireless Internet to rest in our article “8 Facts to Set the Record Straight About Fixed Wireless Internet”.

    Here are the highlights:

    • Fact 1: Fixed wireless Internet is not the same as satellite Internet
    • Fact 2: Fixed wireless Internet Is just as reliable as fiber
    • Fact 3: Fixed wireless Internet is not just a rural solution
    • Fact 4: Fixed wireless Internet can be installed rapidly
    • Fact 5: Fixed wireless radio technology is safe
    • Fact 6: Fixed wireless Internet is much more than a backup solution
    • Fact 7: Fixed wireless Internet is secure
    • Fact 8: Fixed wireless Internet works in any weather

    Today’s Commercial High-Speed Fixed Wireless Internet Technology

    As with all types of broadband connections, fixed wireless speeds and service varies from provider to provider. From technical equipment upgrades to improved and simplified network management through software, commercial fixed wireless networks have advanced rapidly in recent years. When topped off with the ability to combine and switch between more diversified spectrum links (both licensed and unlicensed), properly-deployed modern fixed wireless networks can deliver gigabit connection speeds that rival fiber connections.

    weather and fixed wireless internet
     

    Fixed Wireless Internet and the Weather

    When we think of our Internet connection transmitting data wirelessly, the effects of weather can be a natural concern. Thus, it’s no surprise that fixed wireless providers are often asked, “Does weather affect fixed wireless Internet?”

    The answer? Yes, it can if it’s not deployed correctly – and that is one of the primary reasons the technology gets overlooked. However, with informed engineering and experience, fixed wireless networks can be unaffected by weather. For example, before building out any wireless network, GeoLinks’ in-house engineering team first looks at an area’s terrain, historical weather patterns, rain fade, and thermal ducting. Based on the data collected and considering the distance of the shot and required bandwidth, they choose the best frequency or frequencies and carrier-grade equipment for the specific region and build. With multiple failover paths, every GeoLinks network eventually connects to a fiber optic backbone to ensure true network redundancy. The result? A stable, high-speed fixed wireless network designed to withstand the elements.

    Plus, GeoLinks can craft a disaster recovery plan for your business to help you combat any weather event or natural disaster you encounter.

    Why Should Your Business Implement Fixed Wireless Internet?

    In addition to being weather-proof, Fixed Wireless Internet is:

    • Quick to deploy – fixed wireless Internet networks can be deployed in a fraction of the time of competing wired technologies.
    • Cost-effective – by avoiding costly trenching, fixed wireless Internet networks are far less expensive to build and have a lower impact on the environment.
    • Widely available – because they use radio waves, fixed wireless Internet networks can reach areas “off the grid,” such as rural America.
    • Uptime – Fixed wireless Internet networks have multipoint redundancy built-in. This provides always-on connectivity with close to 100% uptime.

    Comparing Fixed Wireless Internet to other Business Internet Options

    Fixed Wireless Business Internet Comparison Chart 



    GeoLinks’ Fixed Wireless Internet Case Studies – Proof of Concept

    Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Multi-Site Locations:

    A great case study to prove the potential of a well-constructed fixed wireless network is GeoLinks’ project with global coffee distributor Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. In 2016, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was slated to open a series of new locations in Southern California in just 20 days and needed more than 30 circuits to support their public Wi-Fi and POS systems. The company initially contracted to provide a terrestrial connection was projecting massive delays and restrictions of available bandwidth. To meet their quickly approaching deadlines, the company looked to contract an outside local provider to administer a temporary solution. Enter GeoLinks.

    GeoLinks successfully delivered more than 30 redundant circuits to all new store locations in just 14 days, enabling the stores to open as planned.

    GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ initially was hired as a temporary backup solution while Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s copper network was installed. However, ClearFiber’s seamless operation, combined with further buildout delays, led Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to cancel its copper installations altogether and to use GeoLinks as their primary provider.

    The decision to use GeoLinks paid off again when Southern California was hit with a massive storm in the Spring of 2017, causing outages across the state as California’s poor irrigation caused underground reservoirs to flood for nearly two weeks straight. As terrestrial cables live underground, many of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s pre-existing locations operated on copper and experienced extended outages and downtime. All of their ClearFiber™ locations, on the other hand, remained unaffected and avoided outages and downtime altogether.

    You can learn more about our success story with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf here, or you can download the PDF of the case study here.

    Coffee Bean Case Study

    Catalina Island - Does weather affect fixed wireless?

    Santa Catalina Island:

    Santa Catalina Island is located more than 20 miles off the California coast, which creates an ongoing problem to secure reliable high-speed Internet access. Before 2016, most island residents lived with either unreliable satellite or cellular connections or no access whatsoever. At one point in time, the island commissioned an outside network builder to deliver a fixed wireless connection to solve this problem. Unfortunately, however, the design was dramatically impacted by weather and atmospheric ducting, causing consistent drops, outages, packet loss, and high latency. The poorly designed network left residents and businesses with an unsustainable and unreliable network.

    In 2016, GeoLinks was brought in by an affiliate partner to design a custom solution that would deliver Catalina its first-ever reliable and redundant multi-gigabit network. By understanding the inherent issues of thermal ducting and rain fade, and by examining over 50 years of weather patterns, the GeoLinks team, led by CTO Ryan Hauf and CEO Skyler Ditchfield, were able to conceptualize an innovative network design in under two weeks.

    Having ample tower coverage supported by fiberoptic backbones throughout Southern California, GeoLinks’ team of expert engineers then were able to construct a fully redundant network in just 60 days. Using multiple paths over various frequencies to deliver long-haul middle mile, the system was built to seamlessly failover when rain or packet loss was detected, preventing the island from ever experiencing a perceived outage.

    GeoLinks – The Most Reliable Fixed Wireless Internet Provider

    So, let’s answer our initial questions. When engineered effectively, fixed wireless Internet is a reliable technology that can withstand extreme weather conditions and perform equal, if not better than, a wired connection. With innovative companies like GeoLinks building businesses and anchor institutions multi-gigabit networks that guarantee ultra-low latency, virtually no jitter, 99.999% uptime, fixed wireless Internet may very well be the best Internet solution for your business.

    Ready to Try GeoLinks’ Weather-Proof Business Internet Option ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet?

    Chat with one of our in-house experts to see if ClearFiber™ is right for your business.

    Request a Quote
     
     
     

    Need Internet Immediately?

    Talk with a GeoLinks Internet specialist now.
    Call 888.225.1571

    Call GeoLinks