The focus of the Wireless Cowboys blog is to tell the stories of the Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) – the last of the truly independent broadband providers that are bringing broadband to the unserved and underserved parts of the world.
Matt Larsen Bio
Matt Larsen has been deploying wireless infrastructure for ISP operations since early 2000 and is experienced in the design of data networks, NOC operations, wireless deployments, voice over IP implementation, business development and overall management of ISP operations.
In 1995, Larsen was part of the volunteer group that launched FortNet, the first ISP in Fort Collins, Colorado. After moving to Scottsbluff, Nebraska in 1997, he started Scottsbluff Networx, an ISP that provided competitive dialup Internet access in the Panhandle of Western Nebraska. Scottsbluff Networx was the first non-ILEC company to offer DSL in Nebraska, turning its first DSL customers on in the summer of 1998, and later gained CLEC status in the state of Nebraska. Frustrated with the bueaurocracy of dealing with the phone companies to deliver DSL service, Matt turned to wireless as an alternate way to deliver high speed Internet to his customers. In February 2000, Scottsbluff Networx started offering wireless broadband access in to several towns in the Nebraska Panhandle, bypassing the phone companies completely.
In November 2000, Larsen sold Scottsbluff Networx to Airwave Wireless, a company that held LMDS and cellular licenses for the Scottsbluff area. From November 2000 through October 2003, Larsen worked on ISP operations for Airwave, and concentrated on business development and the deployment of unlicensed wireless broadband systems.
In October 2003, Larsen left Airwave to pursue opportunities in wireless broadband access and established Vistabeam. Vistabeam has deployed wireless broadband systems covering approximately 40,000 square miles and maintains 2200 miles of wireless backbone across Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska.
Matt Larsen is one of the innovators in the wireless broadband industry and has been featured in the Washington Post and Wireless Tech Radio. Matt has also been a speaker at WISPCON, ISPCON, EC-Expo, FCC Wireless Broadband Access Task Force, The Broadband Expo, WISPA and the Tom Osborne Leadership Conference; received the 1999 Visionary Rising Star Award from the Scottsbluff/Gering Chamber of Commerce; received the WISP Consultant of the Year Award at the Spring 2004 WISPCON, received the WISPA Operator of the Year Award for 2010 and serves on the Board of Directors for WISPA, the Wireless Internet Service Provider Association.
Mr. Larsen lives in Mitchell, Nebraska with his wife Monique and son Diego.
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