Spokane’s dirty telecom scandal?


Jim Thompson, a hi-tech veteran and a former employee of Vivato(?) has exposed a scandal of sorts in Spokane, Washington. His expose comes the day it was announced that Spokane International Airport was going wireless, using Vivato gear. Yes the same Vivato which could not get most of its equipment to work, had some serious financial problems etc. On his weblog, SmallWorks, he writes:

Spokane is being abused by its own child. There is no way in hell that this metro-area network will work, even in the backwater of Spokane, WA. In the meantime, Bob is helping Vivato unload a product that they otherwise wasn’t really selling. All with the federal government providing the funds.

Conley is the founder of Vivato. Jim points out Vivato is getting away with selling gear that does not work properly thanks to some generous funding from the US government.

Most of what is wrong with Vivato is that Bob Conley hasn’t given up on the wet dream of wireless residential broadband. Its a little-known fact that the whole reason for Mabuhay/Vivato’s existance is that Bob and Skip couldn’t get anything but dial-up in Liberty Lake, WA. So these two Agilent engineers decided that they could build a phased-array 802.16 device (Vivato’s telephone number still contains a reference to 802.16) and unwire the masses. The VCs wouldn’t fund a 802.16 company, but WiFi was hot, so Mabuhay became an 802.11 company.

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