remember IPv6?

Brent Finnegan -- March 28th, 2007

Remember forever ago, when we were posting about IPv6? Harrisonburg is/was supposed to be the first city to get the next generation Internet protocol. That was the last thing I read about it.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been emailing World Airwaves (the Winchester-based company supposedly in charge of setting it up) about how/when/where I can find out more info about it and possibly sign up for the service. Numerous emails. No response from them whatsoever.

Today I came across this story on which states that “the city of the future” will become “the first U.S. city to have a citywide IPv6 network in the third quarter of the year.”

Thank you Grant Gross and infoworld, for telling me what World Airwaves was apparently unwilling to. Geez. If that’s any indication of what their customer service will be like, I’ll stick with the corporate giant.

14 Responses to “remember IPv6?”

  1. What a disappointment. I was so looking forward to offering that to my new downtown tenants.

  2. Someone Help Us says:

    What do you expect? The “Chief Technology Officer” for World Airwaves is Alex Phillips, former owner of RICA.NET — the former dialup ISP which oversold it’s poor little T-1 connection and until it was purchased, backed up little – if at all.

    RICA.NET was the WORST ISP in the Valley…just ask any of their dialup customers.

  3. Someone Help Us says:

    Sorry, someone changed his title. Phillips also runs which has pretty crappy speeds. This from the World Airwaves website:

    Alex Phillips, VP of Project Development
    Mr. Phillips (45) has been in the technology industries since 1985. He has also worked in the Internet Telecommunications industry since 1995 when he founded the first Local ISP in Rockingham County offering flat rate services. Since 95, Mr. Phillips has developed a commercial broadband wireless network in Harrisonburg and is presently building a municipally owned wireless network in the Town of Shenandoah in Page County. This Municipal network is being funded by the USDA/RUS broadband grant program.

  4. Marcus says:

    The original goal was 3rd Quarter ’06:

    I am not sure if anyone knows exactly when it will happen now. I believe the more recent goal is end of summer ’07. I have spoken with Mark Bayliss a few times in the last year and they continue to be confident it will happen soon.

    Have you spoken with Jim Barnes? He would be the best resource locally.

  5. MikeFus says:

    I am so glad to have found this thread! Why is everyone involved (city officials, local media, and of course WorldWide Airwaves) being silent about this?? So now, through an article published in a nationally-read trade rag, that the roll-out should be complete in Q3 2007. Why? Why the delay? And why wasn’t there any mention of this new timeframe to those of us who are actually supposed to sign up for this service if/when it actually is completed? finnegan has it right – if their lack of communication in the pre-sales phase (when they should be bending over backwards to woo us potential subscribers) is any indication of their style of customer service, they can forget it! I called WWA several days ago, and was told that “Mark Bayliss is the man to talk to… no, he’s not in the office at the moment… no, I can’t tell you when he’ll be available… no, he doesn’t have voicemail… you should send him an email.” First of all, no voicemail? Either that’s a load of crap, or the head honcho for a high-tech company is way behind the times. (I’m guessing the former.) And, of course, no response from Mr Bayliss by email. VERY disappointing.

  6. finnegan says:

    Exactly the same response I got, Mike. And still nothing. I’ve spoken to members of city council who told me that this was supposedly already up and running. What?! Where? How?

    If you missed it, you may also want to read this post.

  7. MikeFus says:

    My understanding is that they were going to roll it out in three phases, and that phase 1 was complete Q4 2006:
    1) The downtown corridor – Rt 11 from Cantrell to Washington St
    2) Mt Clinton Pike West of town & Country Club Rd
    3) The rest of the city

    I spoke with Mark and Alex at the Technology Summit that was held Aug 15, 2006 at JMU, and at that time I was given some pricing information and was told (by Alex) that Phase 3 was supposed to be complete by Dec 31, 2006.

    A friend of mine, who is a local small business owner, and I have been in discussion about this for some time. I forwarded him this post, and here’s an excerpt from his response:

    “I think it’s time we storm city hall and ask for some answers… I’ve been in contact with Jim Barnes – City economic dev manager, about this. He’s been trying to lean on Mark Bayliss to return my emails, calls – but he’s been unable to get a response himself. At this point, I’d vote with my tax dollars for having a city/county owned and subsidized system. The private sector has not demonstrated that they can get the job done. 802.16 is close to being ratified, and then the city should be able to roll out things relatively inexpensively. Not to mention that the economic benefits are enormous.”

    I agree with him 100%. While it would be nice to have the title of the first citywide IPv6 implementation in the country, perhaps there’s a better (more reliable, less expensive, quicker) way to accomplish the ultimate end result – low-cost, city-wide WiFi Internet access. Unfortunately, where I live in the city, the only option is Comcast, which is ridiculously expensive, and while the download speed is more than satisfactory (~3.5Mb), the upload speed is miserable (~250Kb). Small businesses in my area, which is serviced by the Harmony Heights Verizon CO (which doesn’t contain any DSL equipment) have even less options, unless they happen to be lucky enough to have a Comcast cable running into their building, or can afford to pay for a T1. My business owner friend was told by Comcast that it would cost $1400 to pull a cable across the street into his building! I’m the IT director for another small business in that same area, and when we determined that a wireless connection through Ntelos or VAIX wasn’t satisfactory, our only reasonable option was to purchase a fractional T1 through Ntelos. We need more reliable options, and it doesn’t look promising for WorldWide Airwaves!

  8. finnegan says:

    Thanks for that comment and info, Mike. I’ll email some people and try to get the ball rolling a little bit — if nothing else, then just for information.

  9. Thanh says:

    Just a minor FYI – The post reads: “Today I came across this story on which states that “the city of the future” will become “the first U.S. city to have a citywide IPv6 network in the third quarter of the year.””

    I think you mean to say “The City With the Planned Future.” That’s the City’smotto, or whatever its called.

  10. finnegan says:

    “City of the Future” was a reference to the InfoWorld article about IPv6. It’s the title of their story.

  11. Mike, at this point in the game — if the City and the County are going to play the Technology game — they need to think about either taxpayer-funded broadband, or in the alternative (and legal), think about providing tax incentives for private industry to provide affordable broadband access throughout the city and the County…

    Not keeping up on the Technology, I here that WiMax would probably be best-suited (I think that’s the 802.16 standard you wrote of, Mike), but it’s clear that in order to become a player in Technology (and I lived in Raleigh-Durham for almost seven years before moving back into Virginia), broadband should DEFINITELY be available through the City and the County. And yes, that runs against my libertarian-leanings.

    Maybe the City and the County should be talking to Sprint about WiMax deployment here, or 3G/4G technology.

    Wikipedia’s got great information on WiMax at

  12. If some individuals are interested in perhaps developing information to present to both Harrisonburg and Rockingham County on deployment of a WiMax-based system, I’d be willing to assist/present.

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