New York City is a city of skyscrapers, high-rises and water towers perched far above the ground. But so much of what connects our city -- the subway system, water and electric utilities, fiber and so on -- lies beneath the ground. In an old, densely built city like New York, instead of perpetually looking to dig up of streets to deliver essential services to NYC businesses, we should be looking to solutions that allow for minimal disruption while providing the highest quality service.
Two Providers Promise Better Cell Service, Innovative Broadband
by Briana Warsing
There is help on the way for Islanders whose phones regularly drop calls in the Westview arcade, the Good Shepherd Church plaza, the bowels of the Cultural Center, and elsewhere. At next Tuesday’s Board meeting for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), members will vote on a proposal to increase cellular service on the Island by laying down fiber lines to new, small cell towers attached to lamp posts along Main Street.
The goal is higher capacity and better in-building coverage. Crown Castle has worked with RIOC to determine the Island’s dead spots. Together, they identified specific locations to install new small cell solutions networks based on a careful and thorough review of existing poles and neighborhood sites.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the Island, Cornell Tech is getting a boost of a different sort. When looking for a way to bring high-speed internet access to its high-demand campus, the school made the surprising choice to not lay down fiber. Instead, they looked to the sky.
In a nod to the school’s innovative architecture, focus on sustainability, and investment in New York’s tech industry, Cornell Tech relies on Skywire Networks, a company that connects commercial buildings to their network via microwave radios which are installed on the roofs of tall buildings. Skywire CEO and co-founder, Alan Levy, has spent the last five years building the company to deliver high-quality, high-speed internet to buildings traditionally underserved by cable and copper-based carriers.
“Fiber is a terrestrial network. It’s in the street,” says Levy, “You have to dig up the roads in order to install it.” According to Levy, most of the fiber in New York City was installed in midtown and in the financial district because those businesses are the ones that could afford it. But in other parts of the city, Levy says, there’s much less fiber installation (less than 5 percent according to his research), which means businesses and buildings have to rely on an old copper technology, and, in many instances, cable technology, for broadband. “That’s the problem we are solving via Skywire.”
Skywire Networks delivers high-speed internet through the air.
In the scheme of fiber haves and have-nots, Roosevelt Island is a have-not. “During construction, many times they will coordinate fiber, and all the conduits inside the building will be built for that,” he says. “Part of it, obviously, has to do with it being on an Island. It’s expensive to dig under the water and lay fiber, particularly for the size of Roosevelt Island. Most times, when fiber is used to deliver high speed broadband, you dig up the street from point A to point B.”
Skywire Networks, he says, can deliver the same speed that fiber delivers. The difference is that their equipment sits on the roof that goes into the building, versus fiber that goes into the basement that goes into the building; it’s just a different path to get into that building.
Skywire’s technology connects to the building, the signal comes through the sky through point-to-point radio equipment. In Cornell Tech’s case, it connects the buildings at Cornell Tech to the Skywire network in Long Island City, where there is fiber. The strategy, says Levy, is to deploy fiber, and then that last mile or so use the microwave radios to deliver the same type of speeds that fiber gets.
Levy says that his company’s installation at Cornell Tech will not impact the rest of the Island, but that he would be happy to work with RIOC in order to connect the rest of us. He is aware that there isn’t great service here. “To the extent there are other needs outside of Cornell Tech, we can address those with the building owners themselves because we can connect to Roosevelt Island.”
For those who spend most of their time on a mobile phone, the Board is expected to vote December 19 on a plan to connect us with new cell towers being installed around Main Street.
In a presentation given at RIOC’s Real Estate Development Advisory Committee meeting on November 9, Joseph Klem and Esme Lombard from wireless infrastructure provider Crown Castle proposed building and maintaining a fiber ring around Roosevelt Island to supply the Island with reliable cellular connectivity. Part of their plan requires them to provide four strands of dark fiber around the Island.
They will then install additional small cell towers in weak-signal or high-data-traffic areas around the Island. Crown Castle is a neutral cell host system, and is designed to host all carriers; “every carrier has a chance to come in,” said Klem.
The good news is that, unlike the Con Edison work that was recently done on the Island, Klem says this work would take only three to six months, and that it can go right on the edge of the curbline.
Skywire Networks' very own Alan Levy shares his thoughts on the future of net neutrality with Telecom Ramblings.
Alan Levy, CEO at Skywire Networks, shares one of his greatest tips for entrepreneurial success with Inc Magazine.
"Serial entrepreneur Alan Levy has quite a track record in the tech industry. Prior to Skywire Networks, in the '00s, Levy created BlogTalkRadio, a digital podcasting platform, and served as its Chairman and CEO. Levy was also President of Destia Communications, a global telecommunications firm was sold to Viatel for over $1 Billion.
After realizing a successful exit selling Destia Communications, Levy took a few years off to get reacquainted with his family and get his financial plan together, and gradually began about what he wanted to do next. While Levy did achieve monetary success as a first-time entrepreneur, he soon realized that he loved so many other things about being an entrepreneur.
He loved the idea of building teams of people with completely different but complementary skill sets. Levy also loved the idea of competing against enormous, non-innovative, dominant telecommunication companies. He loved the excitement, the passion, the hard work, and the idea of that only a thin line exists between becoming great success or a great failure.
Success isn't always measured monetarily. "It's the non-monetary reasons," Levy says, "that keep the fire going.""
I had the pleasure to interview Alan Levy. Alan is the CEO of Skywire Networks, one of the largest fixed wireless broadband networks in New York City, with more than 400 lit buildings, more than 30 hubs and a near-net footprint of 25,000 commercial buildings. Skywire Networks partners with commercial building owners throughout New York City and especially the buildings located outside midtown and downtown Manhattan. The cost of digging up the streets and laying fiber in New York City is impractical and largely uneconomical. Prior to Skywire, Alan was Chairman and CEO of BlogTalkRadio, a NYC based digital podcasting platform. Prior to creating BlogTalkRadio in 2006, Alan was President of Destia Communications, a global telecommunications business which was sold to Viatel in December 1999 for more than $1 Billion.
PETALUMA, Calif., Nov. 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Calix, Inc. (NYSE:CALX) today announced it has accelerated past the 100 service provider deployment milestone for its industry-leading AXOS Gfast solutions faster than any other vendor. Armed with Calix AXOS Gfast solutions, which simplify the delivery of new services, service providers globally are cost-effectively upgrading their offerings to a true symmetrical gigabit experience in challenging multi-dwelling unit (MDU) environments. By leveraging the Calix Gfast portfolio, the copper and coaxial cable infrastructure in many MDUs is no longer an obstacle to deployment, allowing service providers to offer a unified gigabit marketing message across their markets, and reap the benefits of AXOS, the world’s only Software Defined Access (SDA) platform, to deliver Always On services to all subscribers in record time.
POST WRITTEN BY Alan Levy
Co-founder & CEO of Skywire Networks, one of the largest fixed wireless broadband providers in New York City.
Take a look at any ad for a cellphone service provider, and you’ll see that the overwhelming emphasis is always on speed and, more specifically, on the fact that its competitor doesn’t offer the speed you need to do whatever it is you need to do. And yet, when it comes to business broadband, so many people are willing to stick with what they have, either because they are unaware of other options or because their buildings lack the infrastructure to do so. For high-speed broadband in commercial buildings in New York City, for example, there’s a stark difference between the haves and have-nots, especially in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, as well as most areas in Manhattan outside of midtown and downtown. It seems incredibly ironic that NYC, one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world, has such a weak broadband footprint for a large urban city.
Businesses today are 100 percent dependent on their internet connection for everything from internal communications, client correspondence, paying vendors, and in some cases, getting paid for their work in a timely fashion.
What is more irritating your co-workers' bad habits or the speed of your office internet connection?
Irritating coworkers and your office internet service have more in common than you think. In a survey conducted by Samsung last year, 1,000 office workers were asked what their biggest office annoyances were. Noisy and messy eating, uncomfortable seats and office temperatures and complaining all made the list of top annoyances, but a whopping 92% of people said that slow internet speeds and other technical difficulties were the most frustrating thing to deal with in an office environment.
We were mentioned today on Axios Pro Rata!
"Skywire Networks, a New York-based fixed wireless business broadband provider, has raised $23 million in new funding from Metropolitan Partners Group."
You can see the original source by clicking on the link below:
Skywire Networks Lands $23 Million Financing to Bring Broadband Connectivity to Underserved NYC Commercial Buildings
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Skywire Networks, one of the largest Fixed Wireless Broadband Providers in New York City, announced today that it has successfully secured $23 million in financing from Metropolitan Partners Group, a private investment firm based in New York City. The financing will be used to significantly scale the company’s New York City “lit” building footprint and to scale its sales, marketing and operating organizations. Today, the company owns one of the largest Fixed Wireless Broadband Networks in New York City with more than 400 lit buildings, more than 30 hubs, and a near-net footprint of 25,000 commercial buildings.
"We are incredibly excited to accelerate our plans to deliver high quality broadband to the tens of thousands of New York City buildings and businesses which are desperately in need of high quality internet,” said Alan Levy, co-founder & CEO of Skywire Networks. “This financing further validates the massive opportunity and significant broadband connectivity problem that exists with commercial buildings throughout most of New York City. Unless your office is located in a Class A commercial building in midtown or the Financial District, it is likely that your building does not have adequate broadband connectivity required to manage your business. We call these areas 'digital deserts' and Skywire brings these areas up to speed without the hassle, cost or wait time required by one of the incumbent telecom or cable companies.”
“We are excited to partner with Alan and Alfred at Skywire,” said Paul Lisiak, managing partner at Metropolitan Partners Group. “We recognize the significant asset value already created by the Skywire team and are confident our financing will drive the build out of enterprise grade broadband to many of the underserved areas of New York City.”
In New York City, only 15 percent of the 71,000 commercial buildings are equipped with fiber and the high-speed connectivity that businesses need to run today’s modern applications. In Brooklyn for example, the borough that houses the fourth largest population in the US, under 5% of the commercial buildings are equipped with fiber. If a building is wired with outdated copper and/or cable services, internet speeds will many times be slow, unreliable and hurt employees’ productivity.
Skywire Networks partners with commercial building owners throughout New York City and especially those buildings located outside of midtown and downtown Manhattan where fiber density is weak. Today’s building owner must offer their tenants high quality internet solutions and many times, the building owner or property manager is unaware that alternative broadband options exist. Skywire provides an array of high speed data and unified communication services to businesses located in those buildings which are connected to the Skywire Network.
Levy continued, “The cost and time that it takes to dig up the streets and lay fiber in New York City is impractical and largely uneconomical. For fiber based broadband companies, it is not always efficient or economical to dig up the streets and deliver new fiber builds to smaller buildings or to buildings that are not near existing fiber routes. This void, which has been developing for more than 20 years, has created digital deserts especially outside of the fiber dense areas of midtown and the financial district. Vibrant business areas such as the Garment Center, the Flatiron District, far West Side plus most of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are essentially digital deserts.”
About Skywire Networks
Skywire Networks is one of the largest Fixed-Wireless Broadband providers in New York City with thousands of customers, more than 400 lit buildings, more than 30 hubs, and a near-net footprint of 25,000 commercial buildings. The cost and time that it takes to lay fiber in New York City has become impractical and largely uneconomical. Skywire Networks solves this problem by delivering high-quality, low-cost broadband connectivity to potentially tens of thousands of buildings in NYC that currently suffer from slow or unreliable internet. Some of our customers and partners include: WiredScore, Van Barton Group, MTA and NYCEDC.
About Metropolitan Partners Group
Metropolitan Partners Group is a private investment firm based in New York City focused on providing debt capital to growing private companies in the United States. Metropolitan works to understand its borrower’s business needs and growth plans and works to tailor a customized capital solution through the skillful application of operational expertise, asset valuation and deal structuring. The Metropolitan team is led by Paul Lisiak, who has 20+ years of experience investing in private U.S. companies. Since 2008, Metropolitan has invested over $400 million in over 45 companies.
Yesterday the New York attorney general filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications, alleging that the cable internet provider failed to deliver on promised internet speeds and reliability. Connecticut-based Charter’s subsidiary, Spectrum, was previously known as Time Warner Cable.
We are pleased to announce that as a proud sponsor of the Long Island City Partnership, Skywire Networks will be exhibiting at their marquee event of the year – the LICP Annual Trade Show and Luncheon -- on November 10th at the Astoria World Manor! This B2B trade show in Western Queens will feature more than 100 exhibitors, local tastemakers, and thousands of attendees.