One of the biggest drains on profitability for small, independent ISPs is backhaul. Inexpensive backhaul is not easy to come by – finding it or not can make or break a business model. According to Comcast, a small competing WISP in eastern Maryland found a way to do it inexpensively – take Comcast’s consumer retail Internet signal and resell it. OceanNet markets wireless Internet to condo communities and MDUs on the eastern shore of Maryland, focusing on the beach community of Ocean City, MD. Comcast is now suing OceanNet’s parent company MASHotspots Inc., claiming they are illegally reselling Comcast residential broadband as their own wireless Internet product. Maryland’s Daily Record has the details.
Comcast claims OceanNet is buying their cable modem service in 35 locations, and then converting those locations to wireless hotspots and selling Internet access. OceanNet owner Frank Clark doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. “This is a practice that happens throughout any city,” Clark told the Daily Record. “Unfortunately, we’re one of the bigger guys in town — so, here we are.” Interesting take. He may want to beef that argument up a little if this case makes it to court.