An Atlanta-based wireless company announced Thursday it has acquired Mad City Broadband with hopes to improve wireless Internet service throughout Madison.
Calling Mad City Broadband “an innovative, even game-changing, industry player,” Troy Richardson, president of Xiocom Wireless, said in a statement his company’s transaction could provide an opportunity to improve and expand wireless service to the people of Madison.
Mad City, the privately-owned provider of Madison’s citywide wireless broadband network, has received criticism since it began providing the wireless network to the core of the city in 2006, as reports of poor signal reception and intermittent service have plagued the network.
The problem with signal reception was bad enough for ResTech, one of the two companies initially contracted to sell the service. ResTech declined to renew its contract after the first year, saying it could not make a profit because of customer dissatisfaction.
About two weeks ago, The Badger Herald took two laptops around the coverage area to test the reliability of the network. The signal proved to be inconsistent, even in areas where Mad City said it was supposed to be strongest.
However, despite the lack of a proven business model for providing a citywide wireless network, Xiocom representatives said they are optimistic about the possibilities for expansion.
In a statement, Mad City Broadband Chief Technology Officer Todd Anderson said the combination of Mad City’s support teams and Xiocom’s global resources will make it possible for the creation of “the world’s most comprehensive set of wireless broadband offerings.”
“This is an excellent growth opportunity and evolution for our company,” he added.
Richardson did not mention having misgivings about Mad City’s reputation, saying in his statement he was “very impressed with relationships and partnerships that Mad City Broadband built to serve their customers.”