Nail in the Coffin of Coachella Valley Internet Provider DISC

On Friday I received a phone call from the owners of DISC wireless to see if I was interested in buying their assets and customer lists. The conversation was going quite well and I really wanted to ask them how they took a business that was probably billing in the Millions per year and drove it into the ground so quickly. Why did they not get outside support or even try to sell the business when they knew that they were heading towards BK?

They have offered us the opportunity to buy Trango hardware for $100 that costs us new about $375 but we need to go to each of their customers and deinstall it from the rooftop 🙂 These guys are hilarious, considering that it would take about an hour to coordinate with the customer to get onto the roof to remove the equipment and then deinstall it.

DISC Internet services are dead and their customers have migrated onto a different solution and are now in new contracts. The only people who don’t seem to recognize that their customers have left and that there is no tangible assets are the folks at DISC, I wish them well.

Disc Wireless Outage Continues – Week 3

No one likes to see someone in their same industry struggling to keep subscribers happy and informed when there is a catastrophic network outage. At this point Disc Wireless has been down for almost 3 weeks. Their subscribers have left in droves, seeking alternate connections to the Internet.

I suspect that DISC is not even sure what their current subscriber count is nor will they have an idea of the real impact of this outage for weeks or even months down the line. I will say that I have been monitoring the messages left of the DISC Wireless voicemail system and I am VERY impressed by the way that they are actively communicating with their customers and keeping people in the look.

I feel that they are doing the best that they can during less than ideal circumstances and they are keeping their chins high. I have three distinct feelings about the situation, these feelings come from my unique points of view on this situation. I have feelings as one of the businesses in the same space about a peer struggling to maintain their customers, I have feelings as an outsider looking in with dismay at how many businesses are stranded at this point and then I am looking at this with my MBA hat on and this is the most fascinating.

As an MBA in Marketing I know how difficult it is to get you message to your customer and just how that message is perceived. I know the skepticism that customers have when you have let them down, and how difficult it is to rise above the situation and move forward. I am really impressed with DISC and how their customer care team has handled this. They have been experts since the first voicemail message that I heard over a week and a half ago. They are handling the situation like a well oiled machine supporting an enterprise sized business. I hope that their customers hear the genuine appeal and remain loyal as long as possible.

Here is the recording from Saturday afternoon on the DISC Wireless voicemail system. Stating that they are not sure when the issue will be resolved.

DISC Wireless Still Down

I was hoping that DISC Wireless would have been able to restart their service this weekend but it seems that they are still running into problems with XO Communications. I am still not certain about the nature of the outage but for an ISP to be down for about eight days, it had to have been big.

ISP’s typically have well engineered and redundant systems, so for an ISP to be unable to provide services to their customers the issue must have been big.

Here is a recording from Sunday night at about 6:30pm from the DISC Wireless Technical support phone number. In my opinion, the frustration that this must have caused their subscribers is immense and I am confident that their business will take a significant loss because of this catastrophic outage. They have started having their customers FAX in correspondence because their email servers are all down. I suspect that their voicemail boxes are getting quite full at this point in time also.

I wish them the best of luck in getting turned back on, bright and early Monday morning. For those customers that are still without service give Skyriver a call at 858.812.5280. They can get you up in a day!

Disc Wireless Skyriver

Shakeup in the Coachella Valley Internet Market

It seems that one of the business internet service providers in the Palm Springs, Coachella Valley and Indio has been disconnected from the Internet. DISC Wireless a WISP has been down for more than a week leaving hundreds of clients without service. My understanding is that they do not have upstream Internet connectivity but that their wireless network is still functional. I called their technical support department this morning at 9:30am to hear a message from last night that XO communications has not enabled their upstream connectivity.

You can listen to the recording from their support department here. It seems that they were expecting to be online last night before 10pm but their website and customers are still down.

I am not going to speculate on what happened, all I know is that customer are down and DISC Wireless is currently not online. When the network is back online their website is and the customer support number is 760-325-DISC.

I know that Time Warner Cable, ATT and Skyriver have dispatched their sales departments to the area to help stranded customers. What business can survive without Internet Service for over a week?

Getting your Internet connection back up and going is not the biggest issue facing business customers. Their biggest issue if DIS Wireless cannot get their network back up is going to be their email and web hosting services. If their domains were registered by DIS and the DIS email servers are off line they may have no way to release the domains customers. Chances are this will keep customers down longer than need when they switch to another provider.

If you would like a reliable Internet Provider and you are an affected customer Skyriver can get you connect and up and running within 1 DAY with speeds ranging from 1Mbps to 10Mbps. You can call them at 858.812.5280

Industry Press / Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine

Its always nice when a article about your company gets picked up by the major players in your industry.

Robert Hoskins from Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine wrote about Skyriver’s efforts during the fire and how we as a company responded to the needs of the community.

Broadband Wireless Network Demonstrates Its Natural Disaster Survival Capabilities By Providing Emergency Communications During Southern California Wildfires

Brad Slavin, Skyriver’s VP of Engineering and Network Operations stated, “The fact that our network survived these tremendous fires without a single network outage is a true testament to the carrier-grade engineering approach we have implemented. We have full redundancy at each of our sites, ensuring that our customers have seamless connectivity through even the worst of natural disasters.”

Skyriver Communications Emergency Response to Fire Storm 2007

As you all know I work at Skyriver Communications as their VP. of Engineering. Skyriver is a very progressive company that is led by Saeed Khorami. Part of our corporate directive is to provide support and relief in any way that we can and during the fire storm of 2007, we were able to provide support not only the the victims and volunteers but also the the President of the United States on his trip to San Diego.

For the people directly impacted by the Fires Skyriver set up free WiFi Hotspots at disaster sites including the Del Mar Fair. We are covering the stable areas for all of the horse and pet owners and a majority of the sleeping areas by the main grand stands. And for the President of the United States we provided emergency Internet communications to the press corps when he was in San Diego.

Due to the nature of the Skyriver service we can rapidly respond to emergencies, events and critical bandwidth needs within hours. Our comprehensive coverage area leave very few areas unserviced.

Fire Storm 2007 has been called the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans on 29th August 2005. One of the most vital services is communications. Emergency services need to be able to contact each other and just as importantly families need to be able to contact each other.

During a disaster, concern and worry about family members as well as the state of the family home runs high, and without access to up to date information panic can occur. Skyriver Communications experienced no network down time or outages during the raging fires and we provided our customers with continued connectivity. Because of our reliable network we were able to respond to the communications crisis by sending volunteers out to install much needed equipment to enable free wireless internet connectivity to the evacuees. Skyriver Communications donated free broadband wireless internet access to 2 locations at the Del Mar race track.

The Del Mar race track was one of the only shelters that allowed animals inside the buildings as well as providing fully equipped stables for horses, goats, pigs and more. Along with the animals, the owners were also gathered around the stables and although needs for food, shelter and support were provided, communication needs were left unattended. In fact the only communication devices were cell phones and due to the fires, lines were jammed and service was sporadic. Skyriver’s emergency response to this need was to donate and install two access points and repeat the signal down. We were able to provide free service in each of the two areas of about 1000 feet each.

The second location Skyriver donated service two within the Del Mar race track was the Plaza Mexico, the central gathering location for evacuees. Skyriver’s high capacity services penetrated the building insuring people could use the service from the comfort of indoors and away from toxic ash falling from the sky.

To finish up our disaster response, Skyriver Communications provided the press contingent to the President of the United with on demand WiFi Hotspot and high speed Internet coverage on the Miramar Airbase. The Presidential coordinator contacted our office at 3pm on Wednesday evening for a 9am visit. We were able to coordinate our back office team and deploy a 3Mbps link by 5:30pm that same day. Our typical installation has a 3-day turn around but for critical emergencies we can respond within a few hours.

The Skyriver offices are located in Poway and many team members were evacuated from their homes and our hearts and thoughts go out to them and everyone affected in these difficult times.

POTUS in San Diego

In response to the current fires in San Diego County; Skyriver responded to the ever changing needs of the President of the United by providing a last minute high capacity link to his staffers and the press corps at the Miramar Airbase on Thursday morning.

We were contacted at 3pm on Wednesday after our competitors provided failed to install their connection as promised. Knowing the urgency of the link we were able to install by about 5:30 that same day.

Aaron and I went to the base to see the President and Governor Arnold Swarchenegger before they boarded Marine 1 to survey the fire damage. We were close enough to see Air Force One and Marine One but not close enough to be seen by the President. We then spent part of the day in the Press room making sure that the link was working for the crew.

We were about 300 feet away from Air Force One

Here is a copy of the pass to Meet the President:

and a copy of the Press Schedule for October 25th.

Picture Inside the Press Room

Volunteering During the Fires

Today I got to make a difference in the lives of people who were affected by the San Diego Fires. Skyriver Communications choose to come to the aide of the community by providing Free WiFi Internet Access to the people who were displaced by this emergency.

We installed two major hotspots at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to provide Internet access to the evacuees, the press by the main grandstand and to the pet owners at the stables.

Click to see all of the pictures of the Skyriver Volunteer Effort

I was amazed to see how many people were responding to this crisis and just how organized the people at the Del Mar Fair seemed to be. There was an efficient drop-off location for food, clothing and other necessities and a process for sorting the items out into specific categories and distributing to those in need.

It took a few hours for us to install our links, but once they were up and Lisa and I had finished walking the grandstands to tell people about our free hotspots there were about seven people connected within 15 minutes.


As of today November 26th those displaced by the fires who were situated at Qualcomm Stadium have been moved to the Del Mar Fair. We have verified that the HotSpots are functioning normally and we are hoping that everyone has uninterrupted Internet access. We labeled all access points with an SSID: SKYRIVER-FREE-WIFI just to make sure that everyone knew that it was free to use.

The whole company came together to support the San Diego community in the best way that we know how. We wanted to make sure that it there was even a slight possibility that providing free Internet could make someones life a little easier that we needed to be a part of the solution.

Citywide WiFi Reality Sets In – The Economics Suck

In an article at they were talking about the “ambitious plans for big Wi-Fi networks to provide free or low-cost wireless Internet access are being abandoned or scaled back by US cities as the economics of the deals turn out to be more challenging than expected.”

From my perspective this was really bound to happen. There was just no way that providing free or low-cost broadband speed, reliable Internet access and allow of competitive access to the network while making money.

The technology is changing at such a rapid pace and “too many municipalities continue to focus on large, ambitious public wireless projects that have no clear path to profitability.”

WiFi for these large deployments is dead, the technology requires a density of hardware deployment that is not only unmanageable but also very difficult to scale. The promise of WiMAX or other widely deployed technology will probably usurp any citywide WiFi, the business models are just not complimentary to universal coverage.

Skyriver’s Backhaul Upgrade

Working at one of the largest Broadband Wireless providers in California is exciting. What is even more exciting at times is seeing your hard work and efforts made public after years of execution.

We have just announced the completion of a huge, I mean really MASSIVE back haul upgrade to the network. I know that in a press release you can only say so much but this is a BIG deal, not just for a company of our size but for any of the competition. This is a leap-frog upgrade that takes Skyriver to the forefront in the space.

Here is the release:

Skyriver Communications Completes Major Upgrade of Backbone Network Infrastructure

SAN DIEGO, June 7 /PRNewswire/ — Skyriver Communications
( has successfully completed its high capacity
backhaul upgrade in anticipation of its planned WiMAX rollout.

Through a strategic alliance with a world-class telecommunications
equipment manufacturer Skyriver has upgraded its backbone network utilizing
High Capacity licensed microwave backhaul. This upgrade will allow Skyriver’s
business customers to have on demand access to a High Capacity network with
greater than ever reliability and Quality of Service. President and CEO,
Saeed Khorami answers the question of what this means to Skyriver’s existing
and future customers, “Our customers have come to expect a certain level of
enterprise performance and this latest achievement ensures that we will
continue to deliver on our promise of reliable enterprise-grade service while
leading the way in WiMAX deployment.” Khorami also expresses his excitement
over this new technology as it “puts Skyriver in a great position to offer
fixed WiMAX across its expansive network footprint in California.”

Read More

Penetrating the Orange County Broadband Market

It has been electric the last few weeks because we have finally entered into the Orange County Broadband market. This is a significant milestone for Skyriver and helps to solidify our position as a major player in our industry.

It has been tough to keep this news quiet but the press release is out and I can finally share my enthusiasm for this expansion. Today Orange County…tomorrow the world?

The engineering team has worked double time to make sure that the expansion was more than just symbolic and we have architected this to be a meaningful and robust addition to our ever growing network.

Great work to Ron, Mike, Shane, Chris and the rest of the team.

Skyriver Communications Expands Its Wireless Broadband Coverage Into Orange County

SAN DIEGO, March 20 /PRNewswire/ — Skyriver Communications ( announced today it has added Orange County to its fixed wireless footprint. Wireless broadband speeds of 1.5Mbps to 45Mbps can now be accessed in Anaheim, La Habra, Garden Grove, Fullerton, Brea and Orange County Broadband map. This expanded coverage is part of Skyriver’s aggressive growth strategy, which includes a fixed WiMAX rollout throughout the Southwestern United States.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer Skyriver’s rich suite of converged communications services to the businesses of Orange County” states Manny Fennessy, Skyriver’s VP of Sales. “Skyriver’s entrance into the Orange County market will vastly improve the depth of services available for business customers and will provide a much needed and true alternative to the traditional data service providers. Further, Skyriver’s Agent Program will provide local software providers, LAN consultants, ISPs and technology integrators with the opportunity to generate new sources of revenue while providing their customers with enterprise grade access solutions.”

Brad Slavin, Skyriver’s VP of Engineering and Operations added, “The successes that Skyriver has achieved in the technical trials of our next generation network and wireless platform has given Skyriver the confidence to push the envelope of the services that we can deliver over the air. We are at the forefront of service delivery and implementation of the next generation Wireless Broadband internet connectivity.”

About Skyriver Communications

Headquartered in San Diego CA, Skyriver Communications is an innovative connectivity services provider, offering a complete set of converged communication solutions to enterprise, small-medium businesses, and hospitality markets. Through its trusted and reliable wireless broadband, hotspot, business continuity, IT services, and ISP offerings, Skyriver is uniquely qualified to meet the full spectrum of mission critical connectivity, implementation and support needs of today’s fast paced communications environment. For more information about Skyriver Communications, please visit

Waiting for Wimax

A major player in the Broadband Wireless hardware space took us to lunch today with the intent of introducing some new products and clarifying their roadmap. As I was sitting and listening to their spiel about the upcoming “future sets??? of the hardware I really began to think about the current reality of the Broadband Wireless industry. So here is the question If the product had the feature set that I was looking for, but it was based on a proprietary hardware platform would I adopt or wait for unlicensed Wimax?

You have to understand that the promise of unlicensed Wimax has been a real Samuel Beckett story for the last 18 months; We all sit around waiting for it to arrive, we have been promised and yet the next day we sit around without it. Broadband Wireless companies just sit hoping that someone will come along and offer up a solution.

Knowing what I know about the status of unlicensed Wimax in the USA would I accept a solution that met the customers needs today with a roadmap to standardization tomorrow? You bet I would.

It sounds simple right? Find a product that fits the customer’s requirements of VoIP, QOS and 3-6Mbps of symmetrical bandwidth with a range of about 5 miles LOS and provide an upgrade path when your hardware is forum certified. It’s not as easy as it sounds – I have been searching for over a year for a vendor who has enough confidence in their product in the unlicensed spectrum to provide an upgrade path to a Wimax certified option to no avail.

Most vendors are focusing on the international market or licensed Wimax so it leaves the North American market with a problem in search of a solution. So what is the solution?

The best choice at this time would be to evaluate the merits of the proprietary vendor solutions, evaluate some yet uncertified Wimax 5.8 hardware and also go on the hunt for some licensed spectrum to conduct field trials. Customers are demanding features and you have to have a plan to deliver.