How do I start my own Internet service provider?

Unfortunately, many areas don’t have a lot of options when it comes to picking and choosing your ISP. That’s because the required infrastructure and local regulations create natural monopolies, and often act as a barrier to competitors. Some say that the resulting lack of consumer choice is why ISPs get such bad ratings.

Want to escape your local ISP? Take a look at the guide below to get an idea of exactly what’s involved and how to get started.

How do I start my own Internet service provider
How do I start my own Internet service provider

Transcript for: How to Start Your Own ISP

Does poor internet service make you wish for an alternative to the big ISPs? Check out these pioneers who have built their own ISP and how you can do it yourself.

Benefits of Homemade ISP

  • Personal service – No call centers.

How to build your own ISP

  • Is it feasible in your area?
  • Find out if there is sufficient demand and if there are companies who will sell bandwidth.
  • Consider getting training on building a network.
  • Get Funding – Are there any grants available to you?

Option 1: Lease services and lay your own fiber cables

  • Check if it’s possible in your area.
  • Engage lawyers to deal with red tape.
  • Buy or rent the technology required (Fiber to home Switching technology).
  • Lay trenches.

Option 2: Build a Wi-Fi network

  • BBW exchange offers a turnkey solution that will service 60 – 100 users for $50,000.
  • Hardware requirements:

Homebrew ISP Pioneers

Löwenstedt, Germany (BBNG)

  • Tiny isolated village with a population of 640.
  • Built a 2km high-speed network
  • 925 subscribers pledged a minimum of $1,345 (€1000) each.
  • Total Cost: $1,077,476 (€800k)

Red Hook, Brooklyn (Brooklyn Fiber)

  • Two brothers were fed up with major ISPs and built a network on a grocery store rooftop.
  • 100 commercial accounts and some residential.
  • Offer strengths up to 1 GB dedicated throughout.

Lancashire, England (Broadband for Rural North – B4RK)

  • Asked landowners to lay network through their land to avoid the cost of digging up roads.
  • Raised $853,710 (£500k) from shareholders.
  • Dug 180km of trenches.
  • Subscription is $50 per month.

Central Illinois Regional Broadband

  • Not for profit organization which operates regional broadband.
  • Laid 103 miles of fiber optic cables.
  • Received $18 Million in Federal Grants plus state and private funding.

In the US there are over 400 publicly or partially public-owned telecom networks.

  • Monmouth-Independence Networks, cooperative, not for profit, local ISP providing high-speed broadband in Oregon.
  • Greenlight Dunnellon Communications serves the tiny population of 1,746 living in Dunnellon, Florida.
  • Athens, Greece (Wireless Metropolitan Network)

It is now recognized that high-speed connectivity is essential for a community’s economy, health care, and social cohesion.