Get to know one of Wicked Bandwidth’s founding partners, Mike Spieldenner! Mike started the company with Steve McCarthy and Mike Murphy, and runs technical operations at Wicked.
Born in South Carolina into an Air Force family, Mike has traveled and moved around extensively throughout his entire life. After a tenure with the U.S. military himself, he went on to work abroad for several companies. When asked about all of the places he’s lived though, California wins out for everything it has to offer, including idyllic weather! That being said, the Boston-area is where Mike calls home these days and he loves Boston for its history and eclectic nature.
When he’s not working, Mike spends time on his farm in Wareham, MA with his family. With his free time: “I enjoy making things with my hands. I sit down at a desk all day long, so in my free time I like being active and doing anything with my hands.” These days Mike has been plenty active implementing Wicked’s fixed point wireless system, helping facilitate rapid network growth for the company.
Get to know more about Mike in our latest Meet the Team interview:
Mike, describe your role at Wicked.
I run operations – I am the network guy, so to speak. I understand the network; I understand how to create the solutions and implement them.
How did Wicked come about and how did you come to be part of it?
We had talked about doing something years and years ago…doing different things. They had looked into other types of businesses, but ultimately decided they had the most expertise in the fiber segment. Mike [Murphy] and Steve said they were thinking of starting up their own ISP and asked me if I’d be interested in coming in as a partial owner/investor. And I said absolutely because I had started a few other companies before and had less than perfect partners in the past. I knew that they would be great partners, plus this is a business that the three of us know very, very well. I understood how to build the network and they knew the sales part. We knew how to create the business very well from all aspects — operations, engineering, sales and support.
Can any of your previous work experience be applied to your role here?
I’ve worked for a number of start-up companies. I worked for Yipes Communications out of San Francisco – it was the first metro ethernet company in existence. And prior to that, I worked for Teligent, which was one of the first wireless CLECs. Those experiences gave me a background in both wireless and fiber.
What are some of the particular challenges of starting an ISP in Boston?
Boston is a difficult telecom market. Unlike NYC or other places, building fiber and working with the permitting authorities is more difficult here, and the level of competition is a little higher. Which is why we went to places like the Seaport and areas that were less competitive. Boston is an ancient city built in a circular fashion opposed to a grid layout – utilities and utility design differences are based on that, making it that much more complicated.
Is the intention to keep Wicked in Boston?
The intention was to have Boston be a test city and use the success here to launch it in other cities.
What are some of Wicked Bandwidth’s differentiators?
The cohesiveness and experience of the ownership, the simplicity of the network, and the understanding of how to provide a quality product – the quality of our internet versus the quality of our competitors’ internet is night and day, which is one reason our customers stay with us.
How would you describe working with the other team members at Wicked?
They’re like family.
Thanks, Mike! Excited to see what’s next for Wicked Bandwidth!