Internet without an ISP? A Private Network? Huh?
May 15, 2018 12:27 PM   Subscribe

I was reading Dear Prudence instead of working, as one does. There was a follow-up from a letter-writer who, unable to join in on a new fiber optic broadband service in her area, went ahead and set up a "private network." I am super intrigued but cannot find anything about it. Here's the post. Does anyone know where I can get more information about this?
posted by bluejayway to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Farmers in the U.K. have done this
posted by KateViolet at 12:36 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Here is a detailed description of how to become your own ISP. The Dear Prudence post is understandably short on technical details but I suspect they did something either along the same lines or less complicated, maybe starting with finding group of interested neighbors including one person who had access to the new fiber.
posted by exogenous at 12:36 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Here's another resource about starting your own ISP (conversation on Hacker News). I happened to talk this morning with a fiber provider, and started to dream again about connecting whole neighborhoods, city block by block, by hanging ethernet cables from one building to another (as I had seen done in Moscow). Sigh. Regulations. Reality. I know, I know.

Another resource is this fund? for starting your ISP. They seem to be positioning themselves as a "start your ISP in a box" service.

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There was also this recent article regarding NYC Mesh (conversation on Hacker News) which is an alternative to commercial ISPs.

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You might want to explore the Wireless ISP ("WISP") world, where self-started ISPs are common. There's a sub-reddit dedicated to this.
posted by vert canard at 3:01 PM on May 15


Here's another resource about starting your own ISP (conversation on Hacker News). I happened to talk this morning with a fiber provider, and started to dream again about connecting whole neighborhoods, city block by block, by hanging ethernet cables from one building to another (as I had seen done in Moscow). Sigh. Regulations. Reality. I know, I know.
A lot of places in southern and eastern Europe are like this! You see cables strung between buildings in a seemingly haphazard way. Acquaintances who have moved to the UK from Romania bemoan the speed and pricing of the internet here - over there it's common to have a fast fibre connection for about €10 per month.

I asked a similar question elsewhere the other day and someone pointed me towards Freifunk, a German project doing something similar with wireless mesh networks. I'm not sure it's exactly what you are looking for, because it seems to be based around people sharing their own connections via existing ISPs, but it is a real-world project currently being done.

Another real-world project I've got first hand experience of using is HebNet (more technical info) on some of the smaller islands of Scotland that the incumbent telco deemed not viable for internet access. They use point-to-point wireless links to a university campus which has a fast connection and get 20-25Mbps onto the remote islands.
posted by winterhill at 2:59 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


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