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Aussie Network Engineers Form Members-Only ISP

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the makes-me-want-a-really-long-ethernet-cable dept.

Australia 66

schliz writes "A group of Australian network engineers is planning to launch a not-for-profit internet service provider that will provide access to the nation's high-speed NBN fibre network for like-minded people. The cooperative, dubbed 'No ISP,' has no staff or add-on services to keep costs down. Members will be able to 'trade' excess download quota for a market-based price, depending on supply and demand."

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66 comments

I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au (3, Interesting)

seifried (12921) | about 2 years ago | (#40722085)

All I want is reliable bandwidth and latency (what good is 50ms latency if it spikes to 1-2 seconds every so often? say good bye to skype and any online gaming) and ideally a static IP.

$110 per month for a terabyte plan on 100 Mbps down and 40 Mbps speeds over the fibre network

Is actually better than what I currently pay, I get 100 meg down, 5 up, 250 gig cap for $90 a month (Canadian duopoly, wheee). I hope they write up how they accomplish all this, might be time to start more of these co-ops. I also love the fact that with the trading scheme they encourage people to use the bandwidth, but intelligently. Right now since there's no real advantage of disadvantage to me when I run major downloads during prime time (and I notice that my speeds/latency are quite a bit worse during prime time), this co-op would result in me scripting most downloads it to run when bandwidth is "cheaper" (aka 3am). I suspect this is true for many other heavy users.

Re:I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722165)

That's outrageous. You should shoot em all. I currently pay $60 a month for a 100mbps fiber with a static IP. Been on this plan since 2003 or thereabouts. And what is this 1-2s lantency-schmantency you talk about?

It's just not economically feasible (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40722173)

The project may be technically feasible, but economically I do not think it makes sense

I hope the Auzzies do a thorough feasibility study before launching it, or someone would end up paying a lot for nothing

I am not discouraging them from carrying it out, I'm just being practical
 

Re:It's just not economically feasible (4, Interesting)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 2 years ago | (#40722441)

You must be kidding. Providing internet service is insanely high margin once the lines are in place. I seriously doubt they are planning to drop new fibre or any other high capital infrastructure investments. I'm sure they will be riding on mostly existing infrastructure, especially the last mile.

These are a bunch of network techs, so they do have some clue what the costs will be.

Not only that, but I'm sure for some of them, they will actually make money on the side from the service. Have a trunk link down, oh well, me and my buddy Jim will fix that right up at our normal contractor rate (without our boss taking a cut!). Not only that, but I am sure they will be buying a lot of second hand hardware that a corporation would never buy just because it is used and donating spares from their various work projects. Their infrastructure will be incredibly cheap. Not to mention, that they will be able to crowdsource a lot of the design and implementation. Usually, I consider crowdsourcing a way of making a crap situation crappier, but it works great when you are working with a group of experts in their field.

What's that? The boss wants to upgrade the ASA 5500's at the South East branch, awesome. Hey guys, I just got a new gateway cluster for the secondary trunk line.

Networking hardware is incredibly cheap if you take the time to shop around. Unfortunately, 9 out of 10 businesses just grab it at over inflated prices from CDW or whatever other rip-off artist they usually deal with.

There are two long term challenges which they will have to face that could come back to destroy everything in about 8-15 years. First is any kind of crowdsourcing turning into politics or committees. Second is letting too many people do their own thing with the network with no documentation or oversight and creating a horrific mess waiting to collapse. Strong, well considered leadership solves both of these issues very easily.

Taco, I respect you, but I think your idea of practical is not the same as the direction these guys are heading.

Re:It's just not economically feasible (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722681)

me and my mate Jim

fixedthatforyou.com.au

Re:It's just not economically feasible (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722697)

Except they're doing none of that and buy all services wholesale instead. They're not even leasing lines. They're just acting as a buying syndicate.

Since they're network engineers, they probably know that it's a cutthroat business. The profit margins are thin to negative. Networks are not made of routers, networks are made of buried fiber. Suppose you have 100 miles of fiber in the ground, which is nothing really, and that fiber has an average lifetime of 50 years (due to technological changes, construction damage, etc.), then on average you're replacing 2 miles of fiber every year. Price that and things don't look so rosy anymore.

Re:It's just not economically feasible (2)

DeSigna (522207) | about 2 years ago | (#40723613)

The vast majority of ISPs in Australia work on the VISP model, reselling various components of other ISPs' infrastructure. I work for one myself - we offer cloud, rackspace and WAN products tying in well with our traditional integration and support services.

The margins are very good as long as you know who to talk to. Buying transit or backhaul capacity off one supplier may mean you can get local tails at far below base cost, if they're willing to take the hit for the volume of services you can push through. One particular supplier we deal with will quote a lower price for DSL or EoC tails every time we ring and gripe about the price. End result is pretty consistent griping with every new proposed solution.

It is very, very easy to get enough capital together, some rack space in PoPs in capital cities and major population centres and drop in some redundantly configured layer 3 switches and routers. All you have to do then is purchase tails, interconnects and transit capacity/backhaul from whatever carriers you're best mates with at the time, plug some cables into switches and you're an ISP. Simplifying further, there used to be a couple of fully managed Virtual ISP providers that handled everything and you got a branded portal for customers to check usage and billing plus a number for technical support escalation.

There's been a major explosion in wholesale bandwidth capacity and a lot of new players in wholesale network services over the past decade which has made scenarios like this possible. There's was aggressive competition and consolidation through the "credit crunch" but many pulled through and are primed to take on the NBN/FTTN however that pans out.

Re:It's just not economically feasible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40724075)

That supports my argument: Become a virtual ISP, because there is fierce competition among actual network operators (supply>demand). GGP suggested they might be operating their own network because they can do it on the cheap. They don't and they probably shouldn't.

Re:It's just not economically feasible (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722967)

You must be kidding. Providing internet service is insanely high margin once the lines are in place. I seriously doubt they are planning to drop new fibre or any other high capital infrastructure investments. I'm sure they will be riding on mostly existing infrastructure, especially the last mile.

I think this is where a lot of European localities get it right: Layer 1 is owned by the government (municipal, province/state, etc.) or a neutral/non-profit third-party. The competition occurs at Layer 3 of the stack.

Re:It's just not economically feasible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40728723)

The EU have tried to increase competition on the Layer 1 for some time already. The progress faces probably similar challenges on telecoms than on the electricity distribution, and the proposed solutions are somewhat similar in some countries. The focus in the EU is in the regulation of the markets. I have thought that the government owned and managed Layer 1's would be something from the 80's, frankly. Neutrality of the established telecoms providing the cabling and higher level services is also regulated.
  Locally, the building codes regulate the cabling for a property and local telecoms can install additional fiber- and other connections. My home in an apartment style of building complex, with 63 homes under the same housing company gets fiber channel and DSLAM free (zero rent) from a local provider who gets its return in the form of connections brought by the housing company for the apartments, and from the additional speeds and content the occupant might order. The connections from the apartments is made according to the infrastructure available to the buildings (in our case VDSL2 over CAT3).

Re:It's just not economically feasible (0)

jthill (303417) | about 2 years ago | (#40724119)

Providing internet service is insanely high margin once the lines are in place

Meaning, we're handing a lot of welfare^W"capital-gains" queens billions per year for nothing. They're providing a pittance of a service, far less for our money than what we get for taxes, and priding themselves on their "success".

Re:It's just not economically feasible (1)

FirephoxRising (2033058) | about 2 years ago | (#40727891)

The NBN (National Broadband Network) is going to be mostly new hardware (fibre) put in by NBN Co, so these blokes just need to follow the install through the cities and towns offering services, someone else puts it in and maintains it for them. Sweet.

Re:It's just not economically feasible (2)

Kalriath (849904) | about 2 years ago | (#40722799)

It's perfectly feasible. It sounds like they're relying on the fact that at wholesale, you're paying for CIR not bits. So they buy x CIR, then distribute that among the members, and operate some sort of trading program to let the members buy bits from each other. Interesting concept, really.

Re:I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722259)

I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au

Where do you live then, .com?

Re:I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722295)

$110 per month for a terabyte plan on 100 Mbps down and 40 Mbps speeds over the fibre network

Just wondering though, what would one really do with 100Mbps, analyze all LHC data ?
The slowest/cheapest internet over here is around 8Mbit, which is more than plenty for what
I actually use...

Re:I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722415)

Just wondering though, what would one really do with 100Mbps, analyze all LHC data ?

p0rn. Terabytes and Terabytes of pr0n.

Re:I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au (1)

Jesus_C_of_Nazareth (2629713) | about 2 years ago | (#40722563)

You could have a load of torrents running, and still have sufficient bandwidth to post a "I don't understand why people would want x. I get by just fine with y." argument.

Re:I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40723017)

>Just wondering though, what would one really do with 100Mbps, analyze all LHC data ?
>The slowest/cheapest internet over here is around 8Mbit, which is more than plenty for what
>I actually use...

Just try 100 mbits and you will see. Suddenly you start thinking that 5 minutes to download a linux dvd iso is horribly slow.

Re:I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40726115)

Yes, but after about 23.3 hours of downloading, you'll suddenly find that 5 minutes to download an iso is quite fast when you run out of high speed bandwidth and get throttled.

Re:I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au (3, Interesting)

nine932038 (1934132) | about 2 years ago | (#40722427)

I'm really curious about how they solved the last mile problem. I've thought about starting a non-profit ISP in Canada, but the real questions is how to avoid paying Bell their pound of flesh. Until that problem is solved and you've got ISP-agnostic fibre being laid, it means that you're charging what Bell is charging.

Re:I'd sign up in a second if I lived in .au (4, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 2 years ago | (#40722453)

Because I can see you live under a rock: http://nbnco.com.au/ [nbnco.com.au]

Most people will have 1Gbps capable fibre in Australia. The rest get fixed wireless (LTE), & very remote areas get satellite, all for the same wholesale price.

It's actually cheaper to run FTTH these days with the polymer cables (what the NBN is using) than to run FTTN networks that rely on crumbling copper.

I've seen this one before (4, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | about 2 years ago | (#40722143)

APANA [apana.org.au] part two?

No (1)

pterry (100705) | about 2 years ago | (#40727807)

APANA isn't an ISP, and only offers broadband internet service through commercial ISPs (at no discount to those ISP's standard rates).

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732481)

APANA isn't an ISP

Well, given that this organisation has a working title of No ISP, I guess they don't think of themselves as an ISP either.

But of course, the reality is that anyone who provides the end user with a connecting into the internet is an ISP, even if they don't want to use that title. I'm very curious about whether they will be able to structure themselves so that they're not legally an ISP, or whether (the more likely scenario in my mind) they'll have to sign up to the TIO [tio.com.au] and all the other stuff that ISPs are required to do.

and only offers broadband internet service through commercial ISPs (at no discount to those ISP's standard rates).

That might be what APANA does now (it's hard to work out what APANA's purpose is these days, and their 1996-era webpages don't help), but it's not what it did back in the 1990s and early 2000s.

APANA used to provide internet access directly. They operated banks of modems and had incoming phone lines, and you dialed in to get internet access. My recollection from the last time I looked (around 1999 or 2000, I think) you could get a permanent dialup connection for the costs of

  • Your APANA membership fee
  • The cost to install and rent a phone line into their dialup location
  • The cost of the modem on the other end (which was technically yours)

If you wanted permanent internet access, for non-commercial use in that era, then APANA was the way to go.

However, those costs add up, so if you just needed occasional access, commercial ISPs were cheaper (but when APANA started in 1992, those ISP didn't exist, and very few ever offered the style of service APANA offered).

Around that 1999/2000 timeframe that I last looked at APANA, Optus cable was prevalent enough in most metro areas to mean that people could get always on internet via cable, for better speeds and less money than the APANA offering. ADSL wasn't far behind (rollouts started at the end of 2000, I believe), and APANA's purpose changed, and at some point in the mid 2000s they stopped providing direct internet access any more.

What? (1)

mister2au (1707664) | about 2 years ago | (#40722161)

No ISP will not always compete successfully with ISP mainstays on price

An equivalent plan can be purchased for $10 less a month from iiNet, due mainly to the larger ISP’s existing scale and direct connection to the NBN.

That really defeats the purpose !!!

I get the peripheral benefits so sharing quota but most plans have shaping and I'm sure how well sharing would work ... doesn't seem all that compelling

Re:What? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722251)

Except you're actually getting what you pay for. They plan to buy a terabyte of bandwidth wholesale for each user, unlike traditional ISPs, which typically use traffic modeling to oversell their infrastructure. With the new model, if you're under your cap and I'm over my cap, I can buy the extra from you at cost, and keep getting full speed service instead of getting capped at 1MBps.

based butts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722207)

6th post yo

no staff? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722267)

The cooperative, dubbed 'No ISP,' has no staff

I know not all countries have an established history of co-ops, but that's a completely disingenuous way of representing them.

Everyone may own an equal share. Some people may only contribute money (e.g. UK's Co-op model). Or it may be that only those who contribute work may be members, as in a partnership (e.g. John Lewis model). But as long as work needs to be done, there are staff.

Since these have been some of the most stable businesses in the UK through this recession, it's worth it for anyone who is intending to start up a new one to represent it properly.

Re:no staff? (3, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40722307)

You give examples of several different co-op models yourself. Why couldn't there be another co-op model for this "No ISP"?

It should be perfectly possible for them to automate ~99% of daily operations and only occasionally require human intervention, so when they say "no staff", perhaps they mean that all work can be done in a few hours a week from home.

Re:no staff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722331)

perhaps they mean that all work can be done in a few hours a week from home.

By staff.

The argument may be that every single member will be equally equipped to perform this work, therefore everyone is on-call staff working very part time. I guess that model is possible, but I'm not sure it's scaleable - it's pointless to find/train/asess a few hundred/thousand people up to NOC admin level when there is so little work to be done.

If you compare many businesses with 100 years ago, "99% of daily operations" are now automated "and only occasionally require human intervention", often from home.

Re:no staff? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 2 years ago | (#40722811)

Except that if they're purchasing wholesale and operating no equipment themselves, then noone needs to be trained as a NOC administrator because there is no network operations.

Re:no staff? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722823)

Then there are people doing accountancy, marketing, etc.

Among the privatised, competitive (lol) energy and telecommunications retail providers of the UK, many companies are nothing more than resellers and bill-printers. It may require little work, but it doesn't require none.

Re:no staff? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 years ago | (#40723269)

perhaps they mean that all work can be done in a few hours a week from home.

By staff.

Not necessarily. Staff have, by definition, some responsibilities within a business. If there's no ISP, and the co-op members are all highly competent, they can just use the network resources any way they like, with no actual responsibilities other than "be considerate".

Eg, if someone wants something done, they'll do it. If they feel like it. Or maybe not. Whatever.

Re:no staff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722361)

They're really just a consumer cooperative which buys connectivity wholesale. They don't operate a physical network of their own and buy last mile service and internet connectivity from existing network providers. Consequently they expect that, if there's going to be staff at all, it will be legal and accounting staff. They currently handle everything through unpaid volunteer work.

Re:no staff? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722417)

OK, maybe it's just an issue of definition of "staff" and perhaps I'm making too big a deal of the "no staff" thing.

A co-op may pay its workers in produce/service rather than $. Those who contribute to a co-op to benefit from its production are certainly not "volunteers". I think the distinction is important because people hear words like "co-op" and think hippie commune, when in fact it's an equitable and often very stable business structure.

Re:no staff? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722585)

I don't think they get anything of monetary value in return for their work, so they really are unpaid in any sense of the word. There is a legal entity (the non-profit cooperative) which acts as the buyer and reseller of services, but any work that needs to be done to make that entity function is currently handled by people who just want to make it happen. You know, like when you order a bunch of items for yourself and your friends and then split the shipping evenly, even though you handled everything. Someone's gotta do it, so you do, because it simply isn't that much work.

Re:no staff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40726751)

From TFA:

The organisation currently has no staff â" it's founding board members are all volunteers and are likely to stay that way.

So when they say "no staff", they mean "no paid staff".

I had this idea ages ago (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722379)

No proof I did, and so what, I may have thought of the idea but these guys are actively pursuing it.

Support costs are HUGE burden for the ISP, anything to save them money and bring the costs down. and let's face it most of our DSL connections are reliable anyway.

My idea was slightly different though, I proposed that one of the peering exchanges (like WAIX or PIPE) allow DSL straight into a RAS on there network, and then you have a backdoor to your own equipment as an ISP. This will then allow you to reach your own equipment in the event you break something. Then you can use your own internet pipe if you so desire, this would save that ISP even more and be a great feature for their members.

Anyway, Good luck to them and hopefully i can help out if they get stuck

Kind Regards
Peter John Revill
Dual CCIE #18371 Routing and Switching, Voice
www.ccierants.com

Re:I had this idea ages ago (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40727589)

Looks like someone has done zero research into what the NBN is.

How about removing the faux caps? (4, Insightful)

metrix007 (200091) | about 2 years ago | (#40722497)

I suspect what essentially amounts to price fixing is going on with the ISP's in Oz.

The cost to carry data is no where near the profit earned by instituting the caps and the charges for going over. Surely in a natural market the price would be lower, reflecting the cost and allowing for a profit, but not an obscene profit.

For a 1st world country having the caps they do is pretty pathetic. There is little excuse for it, and "people in the know" should do something about it.

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722713)

There is little excuse for it, and "people in the know" should do something about it.

We're going to need a year or so to switch out the current "leadership" [tumblr.com] ...

Also: +1 your sig.

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40728781)

Guess you missed how the Liberals' plan for the internet is "kill it all and let God sort it out".

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#40722999)

Caps? Charges going over?

Some ISPs offer unlimited internet for $30/month providing you lease your landline from them as well at $30/month. And before anyone who doesn't know how this system works, would you rather spend $60/month on landline + unlimited internet from one company, or spend $20/month on your landline with one company and $60/month for 500GB datacap with another?

Yes the caps are bullshit, but at least they are going down. I still remember the bad old days of a 3GB cap (the worlds first cap I believe) for $69/month by Telstra. As a side note, Telstra are still ripoff artists. $89/month for 500GB and you still need to pay line rental. Its a wonder they have any customers.

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (4, Informative)

the_raptor (652941) | about 2 years ago | (#40723067)

>There is little excuse for it

Yeah there is, most traffic is to American sites and we have a limited international cable infrastructure which mostly relies on 2nd and 3rd parties in the link. On my last ISP I had connection problems on occasion because either SingTel or the US ISP at the landing in America would fuck with some settings. With the NBN I believe most of the international links and peering will be handled by NBNCo which should have more bargaining power then the small ISP's currently do (the big ISP's in Australia generally prefer fucking customers over).

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (1)

goonerw (99408) | about 2 years ago | (#40727221)

With the NBN I believe most of the international links and peering will be handled by NBNCo

Umm no. All NBNCo do is provide a connection from you to your chosen RSP (reatil service provider), nothing more. Your RSP is the one that needs to provision the bandwidth from the PoI you're connected to, to the Internet.

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (3, Funny)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 2 years ago | (#40723301)

For a 1st world country having the caps they do is pretty pathetic. There is little excuse for it, and "people in the know" should do something about it.

I live in Australia. My current plan is $50/month for 30Mb/1Mb cable with a 50GB cap. I'm not sure what other people do with their internet, but even watching unlimited porn I've only ever gone over this cap once in the many years I've had it, and this was when I downloaded a ton of movies I never watched while watching a ton of porn. I really don't get why the average Joe needs more than this?

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 2 years ago | (#40723323)

I should also mention, if I go over the cap there is no charge, they throttle the speed down to dial up speed. So I'm not sure where these obscene profits are that you speak of.

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40728795)

I've only ever gone over this cap once in the many years I've had it, and this was when I downloaded a ton of movies I never watched while watching a ton of porn.

Clearly a 1st world problem.

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | about 2 years ago | (#40723755)

Are you sure that their profit model isn't necessitated by having to lay thousands of miles of fiber just to reach about 15 million subscribers? If you're paying $100k/mile and you're trying to connect a city of 3 million (melbourne to perth?) about 2,000 miles away, you're paying 2 billion for a cable. If you're paying 5% interest on the cost of laying that cable you're paying 100 million a year in interest JUST ON THE CABLE. This doesn't include all of the fiber you need to lay for the last mile, equipment needed to get it all up and running, support costs, etc...

That's assuming that one cable can service 4 million people. Currently a fiber optic cable can carry about 24 terrabits, but split between 4 million people that's only a functional 6 megabits per person. Thus you probably want the caps in place to limit people from choking up your 2 billion dollar cable that has to be amoratized by only 3 million subscribers.

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | about 2 years ago | (#40723767)

Sorry, I made an error. According to deutsche telecom the ISPs nowadays are only getting 100gbps per chanel which would equate to 6 terrabits per cable.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/03/deutsche-telekom-break-record-with-512gbps-data-speed-via-fibre-optic-cable.html [ispreview.co.uk]

Which cuts my example bandwidth in 1/4th and only give 1.5mbps per line to 4 million people. You can see why the costs of laying cable to Australia's cities with their low population and farflung cities would be challenging.

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (1)

metrix007 (200091) | about 2 years ago | (#40725369)

That argument might apply for more regional areas but it shouldn't hold for Sydney or Melbourne. Yet it does.

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | about 2 years ago | (#40723799)

Also forgot to carry the 0. 200 million for that cable. I fail at maths. That would be the cost for 10 cables. Sorry.

Re:How about removing the faux caps? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#40725909)

Now, lets look at the real costs with your corrections. $200M for the cable (the cost/mile is almost entirely the digging and right-of-way administration, etc, laying 10 cables costs barely more than laying 1). That will be then $10M/year in interest. That means if you're serving 4M people at say $50/month, you pay for the cable in the FIRST MONTH. Or, you can deduct $5/month/customer to pay off the fiber in a year with interest.

That kinda blows the whole argument up.

At 6Tbps/cable, you're looking at 60Tbps/4M = 15Mbps/customer.

FDN (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722567)

In France, the oldest provider still in activity (FDN = French Data Network) is an non-profit association (and now an association of association). FDN was created in 1992. Maybe they can learn a lot from this long experience in assiociative service providing and they can probably collaborate to have something like a cross-borders ISP.

http://www.fdn.fr/
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/FDN

Fvrist psot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722807)

stagnant. As Linux Words, don't get brain. It is the 4.1BSD product, parties, but heRe operating systems join in especially the public eye: move forward,

ERMYGAWD! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40722853)

Oh my God, it's 1989 again!

I'm getting laid this time!

Pipe dream? (0)

Quick Reply (688867) | about 2 years ago | (#40723259)

There are already established players in the market, both the 'Premium' ISP iiNet and the 'Low cost' ISP Exetel both offer better priced plans.

"No ISP" (which really is an ISP because they will still have to handle billing, backhaul network & so on) are more expensive and without any of the extras or support of the other players.

As a tech who would be interested in helping my clients get on board with NBN (as I already do with ADSL), I would much rather resell an established player with full support than one that will not help me if there is a problem.

So far Exetel have been very good to me and my clients, they are not scared to pass your issue on to an engineer if it needs it and get it fixed in a matter of hours. Most of their staff are outsourced in Sri Lanka so you are not going to beat them on staffing costs. And damn, I don't know how they do it, but those Sri Lankans do a better job than most Australian based call centres. I'm not talking about one off cases of good service either, I have called dozens of times for different clients, and they are always good.

There is on in Boston, too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40723273)

The Cambridge Bandwidth Consortium http://www.cambridge.bandwidth-consortium.us/ is similar and has a fairly long history.

Delusions about network costs (2)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | about 2 years ago | (#40723397)

Some slashdotters here are suggesting that bandwidth limits are meaningless and that all internet connections should be unlimited.

Problems.

The ISP themselves are paying by the terabytes.
The ISPs that provide uncapped services are marketed for the masses, meaning that the low-usage majority subsidise the bandwidth-hogging minority.
Certain ISPs that provide unlimited plans that we have upheld to be the shining proof of bandwidth limits being meaningless, are slowly starting to switch to caps.

The fact is that our average data usage has gone up, while no groundbreaking innovation has crept up in the sub-marine cables that connect us all.
When the usage goes up but the cost stays the same, you MUST change your business strategy.

Re:Delusions about network costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40725465)

The ISP themselves are paying by the terabytes.

No. They are not. The vast majority pay according to 95th percentile peak usage.

Boston's had one for 15 years (2)

drwho (4190) | about 2 years ago | (#40723765)

yes, since the late 90s, there has been a non-profit ISP for 'people with clue' in the Cambridge/Boston area. Things went well for a while, when we were able to get T1 circuits at a discount, colocation, peering, various telco services. But as T1s die, much of the value proposition is dying as well. Doing more VPN stuff these days. But we have way more IP space than we need. We're just a dozen low key people.

This is an iteration of an common thing... (1)

kfsone (63008) | about 2 years ago | (#40725231)

I worked for UK ISP Demon in the early 90s, had a 10Mb "baseband" connection to my bedroom direct from the NOC, and I was developing business, systems and network software for the corporate part of Demon. I gave various customers and friends at other ISPs a login on my home Linux box so that they would be able to do traceroutes and so on. Since .org domain is "kfs", my one requirement for anyone wanting a web directory was "come up with a name that uses the kfs initials" - e.g. the "Kite Fliers Site".

It became a sort of home-from-home on the 'net, and when I left Demon in 2000, they banded together and created "OurShack" (www.ourshack.com). I don't know if OurShack was the first NFP, but if you follow the people you can see the clear trail from the shack to our Aussie friends, whom I wish every luck in their efforts :)

All we really need.. (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | about 2 years ago | (#40726835)

is regulation that makes these ISP monopolies and rate-fixing illegal. Internet access is effectively a utility these days, and it should be regulated as such. It's quite clear that rates have been fixed at inane margins for over a decade now. $80/month for a speed that competes with what I can get on a fucking cell-phone is bullshit. And that's the rate Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and everyone else wants for using their "last-mile infrastructure" which they haven't improved in years and which was built with tax money. Fuck this.
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