Hey !, we could do the show at localhost !
May 30, 2012 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Consumer cooperatives for internet services ? Examples and 'how was it done' type information ?

I'm interested to hear of consumer cooperatives whose sole purpose is to provide a service over the internet.

In some senses this would be like KickStarter except the cooperative members would own the resulting entity.

I want to exclude cooperatives who have a internet based service as an adjunct to the primary purpose (such as Credit Unions who offer internet banking), what I'm after is more like a 'Cooperative ISP' or a 'Cooperative Webmail', etc.

I'm assuming such entities exist and just a pointer to them would be good but if you know .... their history and how they deal with :
* Initial and ongoing capital raising
* Management issues when members are geographically widespread

that would be good too !
posted by southof40 to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
This may or may not be the kind of thing you're looking for, but here is a big list of community wireless internet providers. They mostly seem to be funded by user donations or subscriptions, and run by small numbers of techy people who just decided it'd be a cool thing to have. Due to the wireless aspect they seem to be fairly geographically localised.
posted by d11 at 4:57 PM on May 30, 2012

While not a co-op per se, the SDF public access UNIX system is in the spirit of one, and offers various levels of internet services from contribution levels ranging from free on up. Also, in the days when dialup internet access was popular, freenets were community-fun ISPs (one I used was COIN). Some might have been run as co-ops.
posted by zsazsa at 5:30 PM on May 30, 2012

The Pioneer Telephone Cooperative in Oregon started out as a co-op phone company but is now also an ISP. I'd imagine some other communities with telephone cooperatives might have similar Internet services.
posted by majick at 8:13 PM on May 30, 2012

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