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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    Dustin (profile), 1 Apr 2008 @ 11:10pm

    I was a student at UCSC when...

    Ricochet first launched. It was so darn novel to be able to work on the internet out of a coffee shop back then, even if it required a huge contraption to be attachment to your laptop.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Duncan, 2 Apr 2008 @ 4:17am

    Nokia 9000i

    I used this with my Nokia 9000i back in 97 I think it was. :) Worked like a charm, sad to see it go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jack Carlson, 2 Apr 2008 @ 7:03am


    I beta tested their service in San Diego and used it after its debut for two years. It was convenient, and faster than dial-up. Obviously their leadership wasn't able to adapt to newer technologies. Good-bye, Ricochet. We loved 'ya when you were groundbreaking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mike Pecher, 2 Apr 2008 @ 7:08am

    I was also an early user

    It was a very cool thing. I had a laptop from work and I could be seen at the Red Rock working for the whole 90 minutes the batteries would last.

    I was also a beta tester of their ISDN speed service.

    It was great while it lasted.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Joseph, 2 Apr 2008 @ 4:07pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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