By Victor Ochieng
Almost everyone has a WiFi router at home, but not so many care to know about the companies that make them. Without a doubt, consumers just pick anything as long as it serves them well.
Only a few people are aware of the fact that the WiFi router industry is dominated by whites and Asians. And that’s why for a Black person, Luma is a big statement. Yes, it stands out as the only Black-owned WiFi router company.
The big brands that we come across often are Netgear, Cisco, Linkys, and D-Link. The first three are American companies, while D-Link is a Chinese multinational headquartered in Taiwan. All the four companies have either white or Asian CEOs. But even for these American companies, Router parts are made overseas, mainly in China.
In an article posted on BlackEnterprise.COM by Samara Lynn, she talks about her years of work, reviewing diverse products, including routers, range extenders and wireless adapters. In the field, she notes that there are several startups focused on addressing some of the shortcomings exhibited by the existing products such as dead areas-routers that lack the ability to transmit strong signals that can fully cover a home or office space. One such startup is Eero.
And now there is Luma, which comes in three similar routers, all of which sync to provide a strong “mesh network” that provides wireless connectivity for an entire area.
The Black community needs to support the company. Starting a business that manufactures hardware products is no mean feat. It requires huge financial preparedness to cover the costs of research, development and manufacturing. It cannot be compared to a company that focuses on software products.
Luma was founded by Dr. Paul Judge and Mike Van Bruinisse, two networking experts who’ve partnered for close to two decades and counting. Dr. Judge, CEO and co-founder of Luma is a Black man. Judge has a strong background in entrepreneurship. He’s also a serial investor and scholar. He’s a former student of Morehouse College from where he earned a B.S. in Computer Science before earning his Ph.D. and M.S. in Network Security from Georgia Institute of Technology, popularly referred to as Georgia Tech.
The expectation is that the WiFi router will deliver to the aspirations of users who’ve pointed out weaknesses in the other products in the market. We’re expecting the devices to demonstrate Dr. Judge’s networking expertise.