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On the Air

Fix your gaze on wireless broadband.
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If T1 prices make you choke and your business is outside DSL's range, fixed wireless may be your best broadband Internet option. It's available in 2,670 local markets nationwide from about 600 small-mostly entrepreneurial-ISPs, reports Robert Hoskins, editor and publisher of the Broadband Wireless Exchange webzine (www.bbwexchange.com).

The service best-suited to entrepreneurs is the relatively new 802.11b technology. The same 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi protocol that delivers 10Mbps worth of LAN bandwidth indoors can transfer data up to 1.5Mbps for 10 miles between an ISP's transceiver and your own antenna.

Price and availability vary by geography. You could pay $100 to $700 a month, depending on service speed and quality, and the broadband options in your area. But wireless ISPs like Renaissance Network (www.rni.com) in Tempe, Arizona, may waive installation and equipment charges with a 12-month contract.

But don't put data out in the air without encasing it in a virtual private network. Figure on a few hundred more for that equipment.


Mike Hogan is Entrepreneur's technology editor. Write him at mhogan@entrepreneur.com.

Edition: May 2017

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