VoIP, WiMAX to Dominate ISPCON

Wired and wireless ISPs are preparing for a healthy debate over the
future of VoIP, WiMAX and other provider issues as ISPCON
rolls into Silicon Valley this week.

The show co-produced by The Golden Group and Jupitermedia is expected to pull in
hundreds of attendees for the fourth year in a row all looking to
connect. (Jupitermedia is the parent company of internetnews.com.)

Among the big players at the show this time around are dial-up
wholesalers, each of which serves hundreds of ISP customers. Show
organizers say exhibitors are eager to meet them as well as the people
from Tucows (Web host) and Rich Baders a former keynote speaker who runs
a relatively large group of independent ISPs and CLECs .

The conference theme this fall is “Grow Up!” which is demonstrated by
the size and depth of ISPCON’s conference programming content
focused on new opportunities and methods for ISPs and WISPs
to augment and finance their businesses.

Voice over IP guru Jeff Pulver and Nigel Ballard, who will
keynote about WiMAX are expected to draw the largest
crowds. Also look for news from Elliot Noss, who runs Tucows,
Donny Smith, who runs a CLEC in Minnesota, pundit Om Malik, and Russ
Intravartolo, a gear-head who runs StarNet.

The ISPs and WISPs will discuss unlicensed
wireless Internet services with a varying combination of 802.11 and
proprietary RF equipment. One topic the conference will address is WiMAX in order to
clarify the realities for the ISPs and WISPs in attendance.

WiMAX is widely viewed as
“the great wireless hope” for outdoor wireless services. The volume of
news coverage, newsgroup discussion and exposure generated by the
promise and potential impact of WiMAX is growing daily, say show
organizers.

Beyond wireless, VoIP telephony
is also a hot button topic for attendees.

Several keynotes and breakout sessions will examine the pros and cons
of building an in-house product and review the technical
abilities necessary to succeed. A separate panel is scheduled to discuss
the pitfalls of VoIP implementation, and examine some of the more common
problems suffered by startup VoIP companies.

For example, John Todd, CTO of VoIP Inc., will discuss the company’s
Asterisk platform. The open-source software performs a variety of
telephony-related tasks, both as an application server and a VoIP
gateway device for providers intent on building a VoIP solution in
house. Todd said his solution is a viable option to those being offered
by VoIP leaders Vonage and Skype.

“Building such a platform in-house is not necessarily for every
organization,” Todd said in a statement. “Many providers will want to
outsource it, since such considerations as billing and provisioning are
serious aspects to be addressed. In those cases, a VSP provider such as
VoIP Solutions might be more appropriate.”

Not present at this ISPCON is the hard discussions about government
regulation in the industry. Although the California ISP Association will
have a booth at the event, regulation is more the focus of the east coast show in the spring,
ISPCON organizers said.

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