WISPA cancels Dallas convention due to coronavirus

WISPA's convention was set for Dallas, but now it's going to be a virtual show. (Pixabay)

Just two days after the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) confirmed the show would go on, the organization said that's not going to happen after all: WISPAMERICA 2020 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

WISPA represents the fixed wireless broadband industry, and its members provide broadband access to residential and business customers across the country, often exclusively in rural areas.

“Due to the evolving nature of the coronavirus and concern for the safety of our attendees, the in-person convention portion of WISPAMERICA 2020 has been cancelled. In its place, WISPAMERICA 2020 will be a virtual show,” the association said in a statement. “Details TBD.”

On Tuesday, WISPA sent out a strong and determined statement that while a number of tech firms and associations had cancelled their conventions or large get-togethers, WISPA’s March 17-19 convention at the Dallas Sheraton Hotel was still scheduled to happen, with more than 1,000 attendees and exhibitors.

RELATED: IEEE cancels plenary due to coronavirus; CCA, WISPA events still on

However, a lot happened in just two days. More states started banning public gatherings of more than 500 and sometimes 250 people. The NBA cancelled the rest of its season after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19. MLB suspended spring training. Dallas canceled its St. Patrick’s Day parade.

RELATED: How will a mass shift to tele-learning affect wireless networks?

The shutdown of events for the wireless industry started last month when the GSMA cancelled the industry’s biggest trade show, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which typically attracts more than 100,000 people from around the world. Since then, 3GPP nixed face-to-face Technical Specifications Group (TSG) and Working Group (WG) meetings for the first quarter of 2020, as well as meetings that were set for April, and converted them to e-meetings.