LP + Mesa = Skybeam, broadband alternative

Aug 30, 2008 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Northern Colorado Business Report

NCBR Article LP + Mesa = Skybeam, broadband alternative By Kristen Tatti August 29, 2008 -- Two of the region's largest wireless Internet service providers have joined forces.

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Sam

Fort Collins, CO

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#1
Dec 17, 2008
 

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The employees and customers are going to regret this decision. Just watch. Once Skybeam (AKA LP Broadband) take over, their true colors will really show. Their focus is getting as many companies merged under their name to get to 100,000 customers so they can go public, and bail. They donít care about retention, employee, customer, or otherwise.
Bob

Fort Collins, CO

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#2
Jan 16, 2009
 

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The customers already regret it. The network in Loveland has become unstable since Skybeam took over. The network had been stable since the day it was hooked up until Skybeam took over. Outages were so infrequent that I have trouble remembering the frequency or length. Maybe 2-3 times for a couple minutes over two years... Since Skybeam took over I get 1-2 outages a week. These last from 10-30 minutes.
Skywas

Santa Clara, CA

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#3
Jan 19, 2009
 

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Sam, Bob,
The employees already do regret this. Many of the Mesa people quit, the rest canned. Mesa people were the step children to the LP managers from the get go. They don't care about employees! If your a customer they only care about the bad press. The 10000 number and plan is right on from what I heard. The network is in poor shape now from what I understand. Heavily oversubscribed and poor design. The person I talk to still says they fired the NOC guys the week before Christmas. They were the people who "fixed the broken crap" as they liked to put it. I guess no one is fixing stuff now untill it's on fire. I had fun and enjoyed my job at Mesa, it was clear that this was no merger it was a take over. The funny part, Mesa had half the people LP did at take over and we did just fine. Who would you call efficient?
kat

Peyton, CO

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#4
Feb 9, 2009
 

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We are in a very rural area of Woodland Park and since Skybeam took over Mesa Networks (or merged or whatever) our internet is EXTREMELY slow or non-existant. It's been very frustrating. The first time I called they tried to me it was my computer - it was not, as I also tried my laptop in addition to my PC. NOW they are telling me that their "competition" a new provider in the area, is jamming the "airwaves" and making it slow and there is nothing they can do about it. While I believe there is nothing they can do - I doubt it's because of someone "jamming" the "airwaves". And if there truly is a competitor -I'd like to know who it is.
Darrell P from Colorado

Loveland, CO

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#5
Feb 16, 2009
 

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I am glad I found these posts. I was about to jump onto skybeam, but I guess I will not bother. Too much headach to change everything for crapy service. Anyone know of who this competition is?
skysuck

Loveland, CO

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#6
Feb 16, 2009
 

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@ Kat
Kat,
As a former mesa employee and someone with intimate knowledge of their network infrastructure, I can tell you the problem is not competitors "jamming the airwaves". The problem lie in the already poor network infrastructure being over stressed by the "cattle car" effect of skybeam jamming in as many customers as they can to boat their numbers to the sale point. I am sad to see things go that way, when I worked for Mesa it was a company that really cared about taking care of our customers. I can only be glad that I quit before the merger.
Sam

Fort Collins, CO

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#7
Feb 17, 2009
 

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@Kat
"skysuck" is right about the "cattle car" effect Skybeam is going for.
Shortly before I left, Skybeam had just bought (aka taken over) most of the competition that Mesa used to have in the Colorado Springs, Woodland Park areas, so I can't imagine that there is honestly any "competition" left to "jam the airwaves".
Mark Brewer

Englewood, CO

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#8
Feb 17, 2009
 

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Hi Everyone, I work for Skybeam as the Director of Technical Support. We appreciate your comments and feedback. There's a lot that goes into a merger and changes are never easy but we are committed to our customer experience being the absolute best and invite you to contact me @ feedback@skybeam.com. Regards, Mark
Sam

Fort Collins, CO

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#9
Feb 17, 2009
 

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@Mark Brewer,
First off, never heard of you. Not sure why the "Director of Technical Support" would be in Hillsdale, WY considering tech support is in Berthoud (soon moved to Loveland). I'll assume you are new since I left, so take good notes here and then go do some of your own research but be careful not to ask questions around SB, it'll get you fired in short form.
LP Broadband is going to run this business to the ground; that's what Jab Broadband did in California with the little cable companies, and that's what they're doing here with the WISP's. There is a reason that [Steve] Bathgate Capital Partners's website says "Tombstones" instead of "Portfolio".
LP fired all the good people, and they don't have the budget to hire competent people to even answer support calls much less run the NOC or your precious "Infra" team to actually keep the network.
So even if you do answer the many complaints you are about to receive in your inbox, it's not going to educate Tech Support how networking, wireless, and Canopy works, and it especially won't fix the degrading network.

Since: Sep 07

Location hidden

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#10
Feb 18, 2009
 

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My neighbor uses Skybeam. He used to love it. Last night he came over and used my wifi to upload some stuff.

“No Risk = Existing”

Since: Feb 09

Greeley, CO - Tree City USA

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#11
Feb 19, 2009
 

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It never ceases to amaze me how for every one bad thing that happens the 50 good things that have happened in the same time frame are never mentioned and usually overlooked.

Coming from one of the many companies that have been absorbed into the company, I will admit, that I was apprehensive at first, but after a couple of weeks realized that those apprehensions were unfounded.

I have never seen more talent, knowledge and experience in this industry come together. It is refreshing to have the manpower, the knowledge and the resources to make improvements, as well as fix problems, not the little bandaid fixes I have had to come to accept as the norm in the past, but long term carefully engineered solutions.

Anytime there is a merger, buyout or aquisition there will never be 100% fluency between all the different facets involved in that. I have been exceptionally impressed and have not seen that in other similiar business endeavors, where all the employees were given a new home, the roles and job might change a bit, but the unemployment line was not the immediate option. For those that did make the change, I feel that it was their option to either excel or to perish. When you bring a lot of people together who have never worked together before, the folks that could easily hide in the shadows and get by with just getting by in the past, quickly come to the top, and either quit because they are uncomfortable with the change and actually having to earn their way, or are let go because after several counseling talks for a lack of better words are let go.

This happens in every business, from the ma' and pa' corner store to the fortune 500 companies.

A book that I used to have all new employees read back in the day, a book that I had employees read when I bought a company or acquired one, as well as had everyone reread on my dime annualy was "Who moved my Cheese?" It is a short little book that I think everyone should have to read when entering any new chapter in their life.

Kat - Your problem is real, you have been told the truth about why you are having issues and I would suggest that maybe if you have the time that you take Mark Brewer up on his email offer, you might be a candidate for a hardware swap to address your problem sooner than later. This is one of those fixes that is a bit harder than many that are dealt with daily.

Darrel P - You have seen some of the bad posts, if you search the web you will find them for any company or person you can imagine. If you are seriously looking for options, remember that this path has no long term commitments/contracts. I have always been one to try it myself and form my own opinion, I am not trying to pitch a sale, just maybe counteroffer some opinions as is the purpose of Forums/Blogs.

I think that there has been a lot of emotional input put into this blog. There also has been a lot of information that is not factual and based on those emotions.

Now in the expected fashion of going against the theme or majority opinions, let the flaming begin..........
Sam

Fort Collins, CO

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#12
Feb 19, 2009
 
@shaskins:
I respect the professionalism in your post, though I think that this is more due to protecting your own job than anything else.

Going from my company to LP was a huge slap in the face for both employees and customers, and absolutely nothing short of disfunctional; you may think it's refreshing, but it just goes to show that anyone with a basic knowledge of networking can start a WISP like LP, or WhatWire.

You say that there is emotion in these posts, and thus the information that is being posted by myself, and other posters is not factual. We could argue that point all day long, but there are many ex employees, as well as customers complaining of the same things; so anyone reading can derive their own opinions from this, or posts found on other sites specifically designed for ISP customers to rate their service, like broadbandreports.
This company has grown big, and seemingly has a "Comcas-tic" attitude, from the level of service & support, to trying to stifle negative reviews of the company by rating all of the negative user's comments down and their own employees's comments up for the benefit of the company.

“No Risk = Existing”

Since: Feb 09

Greeley, CO - Tree City USA

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#13
Feb 20, 2009
 

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Sam-

Much respect to your post. I am not trying to protect anyone just trying to shed light and maybe break some trends and stereotypes that may have happened in the past. I would do the same on any post I walk into no matter what the subject. Just doing what we all have the right to do, use my first amendment right.

I can understand what you are saying, I could write a book on this, not from the aspect of where I was going to, but rather from where I came from and the absolute awe that shocked me about the whole thing.

Anytime a bunch of folks are brought together not by choice but circumstance it would feel dysfunctional. I honestly can say I think all of us have felt that way at one time or another in the company, but it is those times that make you think about what could be changed or improved upon for the next go around, it will also most likely happen again in the future, I think those times need to be embraced as learning times and hammer out the solutions quickly for everyones sake.

One thing that I have personally noticed is that once the cliches have been broken and people understand or accept whatever the case may be for them that it is not this company or that company but the only company we all work for, it makes a tremendous difference in cohesion and goal setting and accomplishments.

You are right the company has grown, with growth comes all of the challenges. I can't think of one company that has grown exponentially that has not had their share of problems.

'This company has grown big, and seemingly has a "Comcas-tic" attitude'

Disagree about this quote. I just had to call them about a week ago, after almost 3 hours on the phone my problem still was not resolved, and that was after a 45 minute wait on hold.

We know many of our customers by name, and with everything that we do we have only them in mind, it does not matter if it is something that affects 20 or 200, the same care and thought is put into whatever process we have to do that may affect them.

Again with growth comes the downside of the personal touch that many may have come to know when the company(s) were smaller. I don't know the solution or answer to that one, other than I would say that we care about each and every customer and are constantly adapting systems around those needs. Out of all of the folks that work in the company, I cannot think of one that does not have that in mind, and if they did they would be talked to.

And lastly, I have not judged any posts here or anywhere, in fact I am the jerk that sometimes forgets to fill out my feedback when I buy something on Amazon or Ebay :( having had exceptional service. I don't believe in web based rating systems, they are meant to cause grief imo.

--SDH
sam970

Fort Collins, CO

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#14
Mar 9, 2009
 

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We've been w. mesa via frii since the middle of 2006 and the service has been just fine. Got prompt response on an antenna issue last spring when the leaves came out and had only intermittent minor outages issues since then. HOWEVER - skybeam lost connectivity to at least the following three sites: frii.com , csu.edu and anything yahoo since SUNDAY, March 8th. Nothing got fixed today - a full business day and no projections from skybeam on when this will be fixed. All of our email is on these three sites. If this is not fixed asap first thing this morning (0800-Tuesday), I will be contacting frii to switch over to dsl which is now available in our neighborhood. You can bet they will loose customers on this outage.
jaybee

Loveland, CO

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#15
Mar 10, 2009
 

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I'm with sam970 - very frustrating - all sites fine except those mentioned, and of course yahoo is where my mail sits. As of noon Tues 3/10, still no soup. So my confidence that skybeam will do what it takes, contract expertise, etc, is fast fading. This is looks like an odd routing issue that they need help on. 3 days is too long to not see progress. I'm leaving town for work - if things don't turn around by the time I return, I'm gone. And after 4 years of great uptime and customer service, what a drag! I look forward to doing business w/Comcast about as much as going to the dentist. Qwest has been good in the past for me, but speed is half skybeams.
jaybee

Loveland, CO

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#16
Mar 11, 2009
 

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Selective site blockage (frii, csu, yahoo) problem finally solved as of midnight the 10th. 3 and a half days. Hopefully they learned in the process and it won't recur. We'll see.
Ken

Loveland, CO

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#17
Mar 11, 2009
 
Looks like skybeam changed over to Level3.net ? There was an hour long outage last nite, and now I'm having terrible packet loss, 60%, from the hop between skybeam and level3. In fact, there's been packet loss issues for the last couple months now during evening/prime time hours and it's becoming frustrating at best. All my emails to support go unanswered as well. I have to admit that if this wasn't the only high speed option I had, they would be gone. Let's hope this recent bout of packet loss is just something from the switch to a new upstream provider and not the standard we can come to expect.
Chris

United States

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#18
Mar 12, 2009
 
Ken...

I'm also seen large packet loss over the last week or so...averaging about 30% and spiking to 98% in the afternoon and evening hours. It's making my phone service with Skybeam unusable as every call loses audio at some point. I've tried to get support on this issue but am told that everything is fine when they test my equipment. It's very frustrating and I'm starting to look for new options.
Ken

Loveland, CO

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#19
Mar 12, 2009
 
This sort of packet loss is due to an oversold network. It's to be expected that as a provider grows, it needs to expand and this will happen from time to time. But the fact it's been happening for months seems to tell me Skybeam is trying to shoestring everything together.

I'd dump that VOIP if I was you Chris...I can't believe they would think performance like that was acceptable.
Urv in cheyenne

Burns, WY

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#20
Mar 13, 2009
 

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Not only does skybeam now have the network down about 50% or more now, but they also have lost their customer service edge. They used to go the mile and inform the customer. Now we just get the run around and excuses. Oh well, we were gonna keep them when we moved but if I cant get a company to be loyal to me why be loyal to them, no need to deprive myself of faster connections for that reason now.

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