netBlazr: Unlicensed Wireless versus Business Broadband Incumbents

Unlicensed wireless may disrupt the broadband service market in Boston. Communications engineer Brough Turner and his partners have founded netBlazr, a new business broadband service that takes advantage of cheap metropolitan fiber and uses unlicensed wireless technology from Ubiquiti Networks that can operate with various Wi-Fi protocols, and a proprietary one, in a mesh configuration. In the netBlazr network the devices operate at an aggregate data rate of 100 Mbps with 50-500 meters per hop. Throughput per user is 10 Mbps.

In Boston, Verizon charges about $2,200 per month for symmetrical 10 Mbps business service via fiber; netBlazr charges $189 per month for equivalent service using its hybrid fiber/wireless system. Less-expensive shared plans, including one that’s free, are available for businesses with lower-priority traffic.