Metricom to Halt Ricochet Service

Metricom, Inc., which was first out of the gate with its proprietary Ricochet wireless network, late Thursday night said it would shut down its high-speed service, lay off 282 employees and sell the company’s assets.

Metricom filed for Chapter 11 protection from its creditors on July 2. The announcement, which came after a hearing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Jose, Calif., left wireless wide-area network (WAN) operators scrambling Friday morning.

For example, GoAmerica said customers who subscribe to the Ricochet high-speed wireless service will be notified and offered alternative service plans. Ricochet subscribers represent 5 percent of GoAmerica’s total subscriber base.

Metricom said it will stop operating the network on August 8. The company said that remaining employees will be used to shut down the network in an orderly manner and to help conduct a sale by auction of the company’s assets on August 16.

The company also said that a small group of remaining employees will stay with the company until the end of October to manage the company’s liquidation.

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