WISPA Acquires, Welcomes Multifamily Broadband Council MembershipWashington, DC, December 29, 2020 – The Multifamily Broadband Council (MBC) and WISPA have long worked together, most recently partnering on WISPA’s last WISPAPALOOZA trade show, in which MBC hosted its annual conference as the MDU track of the yearly event. The synergy between MBC and WISPA is strong and vibrant. So much so that after 25 years functioning as the advocacy voice of independent broadband providers working within the MDU space, MBC’s Board of Directors decided it is in their members’ best interest to dissolve at the end of 2020 and invest their resources with WISPA. To this end, the two organizations signed a Membership Option agreement in December 2020 by which all active MBC members will transition into WISPA effective January 1, 2021.
MBC is the only trade association representing those who deliver unique, personalized broadband solutions to multifamily communities, MDUs and other multi-tenant environments. Its members are non-franchised companies and their vendors who specialize in deploying connectivity solutions for the multifamily marketplace.
MBC is an outgrowth from the Independent Multi-Family Communications Council (IMCC), which was created in 2001 to advocate on behalf of independent broadband providers and Private Cable Operators (PCOs) doing business serving multifamily communities. IMCC was formed from the prior organization, the Independent Telecommunications & Cable Association (ICTA), founded in 1995. The goal for the entities was always to work to foster competitive communications and alternative broadband choices for multifamily communities across the U.S.
According to U.S. Census figures, 30% of Americans live in MDUs, and millions more work in office buildings. Although MDUs represent dense concentrations of potential customers for broadband providers, they also present unique practical and policy challenges to deployment. Competition for this market is often frustrated by telecommunications incumbents, whose practices can make competition more challenging in the MDU space.
“As our organizations continued to work together, we saw more opportunities for alignment,” said Valerie Sargent, Executive Director for MBC. “WISPA had more members starting to venture into the MDU space yet had no aspect of its membership dedicated to multifamily needs. MBC had the 25 years of practical application, standards and experience working within that environment, and can lend these decades of knowledge to WISPA members.”
Added Sargent, “With WISPA’s large membership base and DC presence for policy matters, we saw only benefits for MBC members with the concept of coming together further, especially as streaming and connectivity needs have grown for multifamily clients and customers. I couldn’t be more thrilled for our members to have access to the many benefits they will gain as WISPA members going forward. The reception from our membership base about the transition has been overwhelmingly positive.”
“The partnership is a natural fit,” said Claude Aiken, President and CEO of WISPA. “WISPA and MBC members are small entrepreneurial operators that drive incredible value for consumers and recognize the tremendous need to close the urban and rural digital divide. We’re going to do all we can to open up the multifamily market to competitive entry and deliver the diverse competition that communities need and deserve.”
“All of us at MBC are excited to become part of the WISPA family,” said Dan Terheggen, President of the Board for MBC and CEO of Consolidated Smart Systems. “This timing is an excellent opportunity for everyone in our industry to provide high quality service to adequately support the needs of those who are learning and working from home. We strongly believe that our combined efforts on behalf of all members will be enhanced by MBC joining forces with WISPA.”
Upon MBC’s transfer of membership, WISPA will convene a multifamily group within WISPA to allow the robust conversation around multifamily issues to enlarge and continue. Transitioning MBC members will have immediate access to all the member benefits and resources that WISPA members enjoy and will be able to participate directly in the multifamily-focused group.
“At a time when more and more of our livelihoods depend on adoption and use of broadband at home, it is imperative all Americans, no matter where they live, have affordable options to access the Internet,” said Aiken. “We are excited to bring MBC members on board and know they will only make our community stronger than before.”
WISPA’s 1000 members are composed of fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and the industry that supports fixed wireless broadband, including equipment suppliers, support services, and other components needed to run a successful business. Our members, and WISPs, in general, provide broadband access to millions of residential and business customers, often in exclusively rural areas.