Ricochet Is Really, Really, Really Dead? No Joke?

from the seriously? dept

I’d almost think this was an April Fool’s joke if it weren’t for both Glenn Fleischman and Steve Stroh reporting on it, but it appears that Ricochet, one of the first wireless ISP services is finally dead, for real. This is the service that used up more than its allotted nine lives. I was an early Ricochet customer, and still have two old Ricochet modems. For a period of time when I was killing off broadband companies, Ricochet’s 128kbps service via Metricom was my connection to the world — until it went bankrupt and shut down the network. After that, Ricochet kept resurfacing, as the company was bought and then sold and bought and sold again. However, each new owner would try to do something new with it, only to realize that the wireless network had totally missed its chance. With the rise of WiFi and cellular 3G, Ricochet just didn’t make sense any more. Still, it’s a bit sad, as I still remember wowing people by being able to connect to the internet while on the go. These days it may be common, but a decade ago it was a big deal.

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Comments on “Ricochet Is Really, Really, Really Dead? No Joke?”

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Joseph says:

Ricochet at UCSC

I also had a Ricochet modem at UCSC. I forget exactly what the deal was, but the school subsidized it somehow. I graduated in 98, and took the modem with me when I moved to San Francisco — it kept working for a full year at no cost to me.

In a lot of ways, the technology was really ahead of its time. It was faster than a dial-up connection; and when I had roommates, it was nice not tying up our phone-line to access the internet (I was on the internet -all the time-).

I really loved the Ricochet modem and was sad to give it up when I moved to Atlanta (where they didn’t have service/towers). Of course, now my cell phone can connect to the Internet at broadband speeds and I’m sure that the ricochet modem would seem interminably slow. I have good memories of that thing, though.

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