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Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP) 
National Map Initiative
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The WISP industry has long suffered from a image and product awareness problem. Brian Webster Consulting and the WISP Directory, with support of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association and others, have embarked upon a project to show the combined national footprint for all operators.

To date there has been no effort to show how big the industry is or it's reach across the country. It is time to show that data and to establish a universal recognition of this method for broadband delivery. As a group it is imperative to create a universal awareness of the word "WISP" and to develop product recognition with the consumer. While the National Broadband Map attempted to show WISP's, the East coast is underrepresented and some states such as Indiana obviously provided no data for unlicensed fixed wireless operators at all.

This map was started with data listed in the WISP Directory. For every listed provider record we drew a 8 mile radius around the zip code on file. We then encouraged those network operators to add the zip codes they list on their FCC form 477 (zip codes serviced), which we also mapped with a 8 mile radius. As support for the project grew, many operators provided their network footprint data. We continue to compile information and refine the output. As other data has become available, that has also been added. In the latest version there is the data compiled for the National Broadband map by the states of Vermont and Illinois. Other WISP operators who had their coverage mapped for the National Broadband Map by other states have also provided their network coverage footprints.

Based on the latest version of this map and the zip code centroid points that fall within the red areas, the WISP industry passes and could potentially serve 75,584,233 households and 187,000,734 people. These figures are based on census 2000 numbers compiled at the zip code level. There are over 1800 documented and verified WISP's in the WISP directory database. We encourage all WISP's to either update their free listing in the directory or to send their network coverage information for inclusion on the map. This shows that over 71% of the households in the US have access to this competitive broadband technology. There still is a shortage of available spectrum to be able to serve a larger portion of these households however. This is especially the case in large metropolitan markets.

What information is needed for the map?

  • The best information is an RF propagation study in vector file format. If a WISP has participated in their state broadband mapping initiative, a copy of that shape file would be great!

  • The next best method is for the operator to draw their coverage area using Google Earth and submitting that file.

  • If that is not available, a simple list of Access Point site coordinates is the next preferred. The coordinates need to be in degrees decimal and if you would like a specific radius for that site, add that as a third column. The default radius for AP's will be 6 miles.

  • If you would rather not provide an AP list, then a list of zip codes your network services will suffice. As with all the other zip code data, an 8 mile radius will be drawn around those points.

The WISP directory has recently been purchased by WISPA. In the near future there will be an overlay of points identifying those WISP's who are principal members of that organization. There have been many inquiries from the WISP directory by consumers looking for service. They have viewed the map but could not identify which operator to call for service. This maps purpose is to show the collective area served by the WISP industry as a whole. It is understood that it's not a perfect coverage map and will have errors. It is a starting point and with active participation the coverage areas will be refined.

To submit information please send your data to:

or log in to the WISP Directory and create a listing for your Wireless Internet Service Company.