We can easily be running our own internet. I recenlty discovered CJDNS (protocol for encrypted p2p address allocation and routing for mesh networks, so essentially OSI layer 3) and project Hyperboria (a community of local WiFi initiatives) while exploring scuttlebutt. Confirmed my suspicions that we could probably be getting waaay better internet connectivity at way lower prices.
Decentralized tech is going to be the future. Now if we can only figure out how to not get squashed down by the powers that be.
 p2p social network https://scuttlebutt.nz
Most broadband providers work with overbooking / contention ratios, so if you sell 100/100mbit you buy 20:1 to 50:1 less from the upstream provider. Overbooking ratios for consumer internet can be between for example 20:1 to 50:1. That means for 20mbit of bandwith to consumers you buy 1 mbit of bandwidth from a upstream provider.
Buying one megabit of uplink at current market rate is typically less than a dollar from upstream providers.
Contention ratio of Uk broadband. https://web.archive.org/web/20070930041720/http://www.ofcom....
You can buy commercial Internet uplink and link up your neighbours for cheaper than broadband ratios. Digging fibre in the ground is fairly expensive but gives more stable connection and most bandwidth. A cheaper route is to go Wifi mesh networking but on normal wifi access points one radio per access point you get halving of bandwidth for each mesh hop. If you go open source mesh with 3 radios per AP you can get better bandwidth.
Nasa study of Mesh networks. Mesh hops vs bandwith https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/201400...
The prequalification walls stuff is bullshit and should be illegal. Twice now I've moved to a recently constructed place where it was impossible to get any information on offerings or prices before completion - and putting in neighbor's addresses is an infuriating process of trying to find one who has ISP A instead of B repeatedly until I don't get a "this address already has service please login" message.
So help me God I will get involved in local government if for no other reason that to advocate for municipal broadband and requiring fiber be laid for all new construction.
The monopoly broadband providers are extremely good at spreading FUD based on (incorrect) market-based economies: that public-sector solutions are usually more expensive and less efficient than private-sector ones.
This is only true in the presence of healthy competition, which is generally absent in US broadband. Broadband providers tend to point to their (at most) single competitor as evidence of a competitive market.
It doesn't take collusion to fix prices if you only have one competitor.
Living in Oakland I wish I could replace my slow, expensive and high-latency Comcast broadband connection with Fiber. It is crazy that we in silicon valley practically have no competition.
I have for many years suspected that the US telecoms have colluded to set a price floor for broadband service at $60/mo, and for mobile data services at $40/mo. It strains credulity that data services would be markedly cheaper in nearly every other country.
The only way to get the last mile competition we need in the US, and make net neutrality irrelevant, is for org-run fiber builds in which the org doesn't offer services. The org operates a multi-tenant fiber infrastructure in which you and I can pick (n) "service providers"...part of what I am hoping is a 2018 full of decentralization and distribution: https://goo.gl/DkpmU5
I see two factors:
1. 'Big Telecom', has all the problems of publicly traded large companies: Focus on creating shareholder value, complexity, inertia, etc. This is inefficiency due to objectives and organization.
2. Payoff horizon. It's easy/cheap to buy technology and set up a network for today, but are they charging enough to update all the hardware in a few years when technology improves? In Canada, even with aggressive government subsidization, multiple attempts to create new independent wireless carriers(Fido, Wind) have failed when they could not afford to grow their network beyond initial investments.
It'll be very interesting to see how this develops and find out whether 1 trumps 2: will small community organizations be sufficiently efficient, or will they struggle with faster obsolescence than expected and be forced to acquire more capital.
'community-owned broadband networks provide consumers with significantly lower rates than their private-sector counterparts'
Ask HN: If I wanted to create a very small cooperative ISP for my family and a handful of neighbors, it doesn't seem like rocket science, except...
At some point it has to connect to the Internet, meaning I have to buy some sort of connection. How's that work?
Several Danish municipalities have begun running their own WANs on loraWAN tech because it’s virtually free once the initial fee of setting it up has been paid. It’s not real internet, but it’s the only way we can connect our IOT and smart city stuff in a way that is economically feasible because we can’t afford to pay fees on connections for thousands of devices.
We could set up our own internet, and I think we should, unfortunately this would be illegal as the large telecoms have lobbied their way into legislation ensuring that people pay, what is essentially a private tax, on their utilities.
These shenanigans are why telcos/cell networks, and not ISP's/cable networks, are probably going to end up controlling all Internet traffic someday
Not so much. @HighTechForum: Berkman at Harvard study finds public networks to be nearly 7 Mbps slower than commercial ones; but hey, they’re often cheaper! See Community Broadband is Cheaper – and Slower” http://hightechforum.org/community-broadband-cheaper-slower/
Very interesting possibilities ... network is really same as physical highways ... should be funded and run by the locales and federated into a wider network ... let’s start the journey ...
Government entities are fine for running utilities based on slow moving technologies (e.g. community sewer system). They would also be good for version 1 of your community internet service. But what about version 2? By the time the government is ready to roll out the version 2 internet backbone, it will be obsolete.
Useful resource for checking how many ISPs you have in your area: https://broadbandnow.com/
Though I'm skeptical at how accurate their maps are. It SAID that another provider covered my area, but when I called them that turned out to not be the case.
I hope new technology continues to provide new options and services for consumers. https://latechnews.org/eliminate-dropped-calls/ Read about ABWN and their new tech to eliminate dropped calls.
It'd be nice to use terminology that distinguishes between infrastructure that is provided and maintained voluntarily, and infrastructure that is compulsorily funded by taxpayers.
The difference is relevant from economic, moral and design perspectives.
I always why there are MVNOs that can use the big cell networks but no alternative providers on cable. Was there regulation that forced cell providers to open their networks to third party sellers?
This article basically said that water is wet.
Would it be possible to shut out such community ISPs by not peering with them? Is that something that might cause concern?
I think it's quite obvious and doesn't require a "Harvard" study. Community broadband can offer customers something big telecom won't: Reliable, honest, responsive service.
Are community-run broadband providers cheaper because they are subsidized by taxes?
They saw what happened to AOL, and they know it can happen to them too.
Obviously. This is Econ 101.