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RealTime IT News

The Feeling Is Back At ISPCON

Despite the myriad of challenges facing Internet service providers these days (spam, Wi-Fi, court orders, federal regulation, consolidation), ISPs are showing a renewed sense of confidence about the marketplace, say the producers of this year's ISPCON.

The three-day event, which kicks off in Santa Clara next week, is a unique blend of high-caliber conferences, focused exhibits and intimate networking events. The Golden Group and Jupitermedia parent company of this Web site are co-sponsors of ISPCON. Media sponsors for the event include: ISP-Planet.com, The List: ISPs, ISP-Lists and internet.com.

Now in its 10th year, the conference theme this fall is "Reach Beyond The Competition", which is demonstrated by the size and depth of ISPCON's rich conference program. A number of distinguished speakers hail from the most successful wired and wireless ISP businesses. Some have been operating in this fiercely competitive market for over a decade, pioneering the first commercial ISPs and WISPs ever created. Conference attendees have the unique opportunity to learn from these industry leaders' experiences.

"Resurgence in the ISPCON exhibit hall will be most visible to attendees with many new companies demonstrating solutions for ISPs this fall," the show's producers said in a statement. "The number of companies exhibiting at ISPCON events continues to increase for a third consecutive year. Industry confidence in ISPCON's track record of delivering measurable ROI to exhibitors through lean times contributes to this steady growth."

One of those areas has been the wireless LAN sector thanks in great part to 802.11 technologies - popularly referred to as

"I'm seeing many more ISPs delve into wireless broadband as many dialup customers are leery of relying on the LECs and cable companies as their ISP," California ISP Association (CISPA) Executive Director Mike Jackman told internetnews.com. "Remember that two-thirds of Internet users are still using dialup.

Jackman also says he's seeing many more ISPs adding "accelerated dialup" as a service offering. In California, for example, Pac-West and o1 Communications are big wholesalers of this service. The plus here says Jackman is that the user doesn't have to change their "mode of operating." "They just get 2-3 times their normal 56K speed at a fraction of the price," he said.

The other hot-button issues facing ISPs all stem from legal issues: the FCC's Wireline Broadband decision, the pending extension to the Internet tax moratorium in the Internet Freedom Act and the cable open access appeal in the 9th Circuit Court.

Earlier this month, the Court upheld the claim of an ISP by the name of Brand X Internet that the cable companies are required by law to provide non-discriminatory access to competing Internet service providers. ISPCON is hosting a series of conference sessions focused specifically on this recent reversal, which opens up cable modem network access to independent ISPs.

On Monday, October 20th, Dave Baker, VP of Law and Public Policy for Earthlink , will deliver a speech to conferees during a luncheon sponsored by Asia Netcom. The session titled "It Ain't Over 'Till It's Over" will revisit critical issues that Baker has been involved with at the nation's third largest ISP recently. Jim Pickrell, President of Brand X Internet, will join Baker to discuss what the decision means to ISPs in attendance.