Basic Nominee Information
Full Name Shane Mitchell
Title/Position Owner
Company Name Rock Solid Internet & Telephone
City/State Castroville, Texas
Member Company Background
Are you a full-time employee at a WISPA member organization? Yes
How many full-time staff are employed by your company? 5
Briefly describe your company's business (services offered, client base, areas of coverage). We provide high-speed wireless Internet, VOIP/Digital Phone Service, and Dish Network sales and installation to over 1800 subscribers in south Texas, outside of the San Antonio metro area. We currently have dual 100 Mbps fiber connections via Time Warner and AT&T and use BGP for redundant transport. We have been providing our own in-house VOIP service for over 4 years.
Professional Background
How long have you held your current position? 5 Years
How many years of experience do you have in the wireless Internet industry? 14 Years
Describe your primary job responsibilities. I am responsible for management of sales and accounting as well as the network design of our Internet services and VOIP technology. I am the face of our company in matters that are legal and marketing, and I am responsible for our growth and corporate path.
Individual Qualifications
Why do you want to become a member of the WISPA Board of Directors and what do you hope to achieve through your leadership experience? As one of the earliest adopters of wireless technology in the ISP arena, I have seen a lot of changes in our industry over the past 14 years. A maturing industry has to come to terms with a slower rate of growth and more governmental regulation and oversight. I hope to be able to provide WISP's with the ability to mature into profitable businesses over the long term.
Please describe your experience and current involvement with WISPA, including participating on WISPA committees. Since becoming a member, I have attended the all of the meetings and have been a panel speaker in a seminar on selling your WISP.
Please explain strengths that you possess that would be of particular benefit to WISPA through your service on the board (e.g. leadership, areas of specialty, industry relations, etc.) I have owned and operated my own businesses, large and small, for over 30 years. I have made my share of mistakes, and seen the good and not so pleasant sides of business ownership. I know that I can be of great service in helping new and middle-aged businesses take the next step toward profitability and long term planning.
Please describe any current or previous leadership experience with non-profit organizations and your role: : I currently serve on the IT Strategic Planning committee which is part of a joint City of San Antonio/San Antonio Chamber of Commerce task force. In the past I served as a board member of the Castroville Area Economic Development Council and I served on the Board of Directors of the Independent Wang Service Association (IWSA) in the late 1980's and have been on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Salvation Army.
In your view, what are the biggest challenges facing the wireless internet industry, and how do you believe WISPA should address them? We are becoming a mature industry, but one that faces constant potential for erosion of our customer base via changes in technology. As a dialup ISP, I saw these technology changes kill the dialup industry, and with the advent of LTE and other future technologies, we have to be ready to adapt our business plans to improve our delivery of service and speeds in order to keep the large telecoms from taking our business. Additionally WISPA needs to provide its members with services that are difficult for a small business owner to procure reasonably on their own, such as liability and health insurance, retirement plans, and legal representation.