Project Idea for Low-Cost Community Internet


#1

I know there is stuff going on right now politically with internet access, corporate monopolies and net neutrality, but in the meantime I thought of something we could do…

Isn’t it possible to set up an LLC, purchase internet from Comcast or Verizon with a Business account, and split the costs amongst a block of neighbors? Each neighbor is an employee of the company, so it would be legal and would be a workaround for Comcast’s terms of service, which don’t let you share plans. (Clearly I have been on the phone with Comcast recently.) This would be a way to install cheap community internet access without having to set up our own ISP or deal with all the government mumbo jumbo.

A more expansive plan would be to set up a service or company that PROVIDES the set-up and installation of these mini-businesses. We might have to buy huge antennas. I don’t know.

Thoughts?


#2

You’d still be relying on the big ISP, and they can change their terms of service as soon as they decide they don’t like what you’re doing. I don’t think finding loopholes in their TOS offers much safety.


#3

There are other ISPs you can get business class lines from that wouldn’t have a problem with this, but the pricing is a bit more challenging. Look into bamboowifi as they’re trying to do basically this


#4

Good points all around. I did realize they could just change their terms of service somehow.

The info on Bamboo Wifi’s site is minimal. I don’t understand what their ultimate goal is, or how they are making internet free.

The only options for business service in my zip code are Fios or Comcast. There is one other option for residential called Exede but it costs just as much.


#5

The only real alternative to paying a major isp is a large scale mesh network tied to a major internet partner like a university or government agency. Something like https://phillymesh.net for instance