LightPointe Switches On (Again)

Free space optics pioneer LightPointe Communications Inc. is back.

Cathal OScolaí, general manager at the firm contacted Unstrung this afternoon to say that the firm is operating again. "LightPointe is still very much in business," OScolaí writes. "We are actively building and shipping our optical wireless products to customers both in the US and overseas."

Regular readers will remember that LightPointe closed its doors in May 2006 and was looking for a buyer. (See Lights Out at LightPointe and LightPointe Looks for Buyer.) After that, the company filed for Chapter 11 in July and OScolaí put together a team of old and new employees with a plan for financial recovery. The revived LightPointe has received more unspecified investment from West Coast Venture Capital and Exa Ventures.

LightPointe had received $71 million in venture and debt funding prior to the new investments. The company was originally founded in Boulder, Colo. in 1998.

Free space optics (FSO) was one of the technologies that drove interest in wireless broadband back in the telecom boom of the late nineties. The technology, however, didn't see the take off as expected -- partly because of problems with the wireless connection in fog or rain. LightPointe has been trying to work around these problems by combining the FSO signal with a WLAN-like radio that could operate better in the fog.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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