Man who built ISP instead of paying Comcast $50K expands to hundreds of homes

  1. He's a real one, I have just signed up to a small ISP for fiber optic which is approximately $31USD for 300 Mbps and can get up to 1 Gbps for $83USD. This is Europe, but there are still some smaller companies doing right by the customer and not gouging everyone.

  2. Not always the case. There’s a small ISP that controls the internet in a few small towns I grew up around (population < 1,000 people). They’re charging nearly $100/month for 30 mbps. AT&T is offered in the neighboring towns for a fraction of the price. Satellite ISP’s are other options that are just as expensive as the local ISP.

  3. I believe anyone can start their own ISP if they have the means and know how. It’s not cheap. But there are grants from the govt to help with the cost. You’d need to manage property access/rights as well as figuring out a way to extend your service using utility poles that are sometimes owned by the very companies that don’t want any competition. Even when the poles were put up and owned by tax payers the major ISP will lease them and prevent use. It’s a big scam

  4. It depends on location. Many ISPs have bribed lobbied local government officials to pass laws that all but prohibit new competition. One notable example is banning so-called "One Touch" deployment. OTMR is a FCC framework for deploying new ISP networks, whereby once the city has approved the use of a utility pole, the new ISP is permitted to make a single visit to the site and deploy. In some places that have banned OTMR, a new ISP is required to, for each individual utility pole:

  5. Read the article. The government gave him millions of dollars in subsidies. That's the only way this could be done. The cost of installing fiber to a lot of these homes is like $30k due to how far apart they are.

  6. They exist a lot of places. They’re called rural cooperatives. The customers are members and can vote at annual meetings for board members in their district to represent them. The members also get an annual check based on company profits.

  7. Good. The monopoly that the big ISP providers have in this country is ridiculous. I have one option in my area for reliable internet. I thought this was a capitalist society?

  8. It's not that way everywhere. I live in a new-ish neighborhood (around 2 years old) in a major suburb. We started off with AT&T Fiber. Then Google Fiber installed their lines. Then Spectrum came in and installed their lines. Now Verizon and Xfinity are starting to install in the area. The price is negligible, all within a few dollars for Gigabit service. I'm just tired of them digging up my damn yard every couple of months.

  9. Surely a company acquiring and maintaining as much capital as possible is the goal of capitalism? This is the system working as intended. It's a bad system.

  10. That's better than the zero high speed options that a lot of people have. If you think big ISP's are bad, the complete lack of high speed infrastructure in many areas of the country is an even worse problem.

  11. The problem is that these ISPs have very little impact, and almost always get bought out once they are on the radar, and it's hard to turn that lump sum down. I fully support this though, and it probably really helps the people in his area.

  12. I live a mere 6 minutes away from the largest Toyota plant in the world right here in Kentucky. Number of ISP's to my subdivision: 0. I ended up having to order a Starlink satellite.

  13. My ISP may not have the best speeds in the world, but I love having a small, locally owned ISP. I even got an email recently saying they were upgrading every package they have to faster speeds for free. Comcast would never

  14. Probably got some of the ACAM funding the feds provided. Companies that received it have to have a certain percentage of their subscriber base at certain rates to avoid penalties or losing funding. I have to give it to the previous administration, they did pump tons of money into improving broadband infrastructure to rural areas.

  15. It makes me sick thinking about the insane amount of government money that has built the infrastructure of our internet system, only to hand it to a private company to fuck us all for as much profit as they can.

  16. Fwiw, after he did spend his own money and with a local family member’s generous contribution to the effort, he then secured a government issued grant to expand broadband via his municipality applying, so that’s good govt money at work

  17. Bravo! The big ISPs can totally afford to do this but are being as lazy they can be. There's no excuse for not having this infrastructure in place or planned everywhere at this point.

  18. If you can go local ISP over comcast, charter, whatever then do it. I live in a town with it's own municipal fiber and I only pay $30 a month for 100 Mbps and the offer 1Gbps for $70. The don't bother me, they don't try and get me to add more to my plan, and they have never raised prices without telling me.

  19. I would hire someone to come out and install fiber. Like who is going to enforce this? Would anyone even notice?

  20. Building an isp is the easy part, maintaining one is the difficult bit. Where I work we’ve bought multiple municipal isp who had built their own but couldnt keep up with the day to day work it involved.

  21. Dude is a network architect for Akamai. Even if he doesn't have direct hands in the physical aspects of it (though I bet he does given what he's doing here), he's probably one of the people who know what it takes to keep this going, can research what he doesn't know, and has enough contacts within his company and outside of it to pick brains as needed or tap people for side-work.

  22. Physical plant maintenance, keeping all the infrastructure patched/up to date, capacity planning.. it's a lot of ongoing work.

  23. Yeah once he has a few hundreds customers, I'd imagine he would need a proper team to support them all. Ground crew, tech support, billing, then accounting, IT, HR etc.

  24. Step1 create a company and register as an internet provider. In Canada has to be federally incorporated. Follow some laws.

  25. The internet should really be declared a utility. It is almost impossible to function in society without it considering how much of jobs and government services require internet access.

  26. He didn’t just make his own. He started an Internet Service Provider business using publicly funded money as startup investment. He did it better and cheaper then ATT and Comcast. It was an area that had basically no service and up for grabs. You won’t be able to do this in LA or NYC or Chicago markets. He’s not some nerd that stuck it to the man, he’s a business person who saw an opportunity. Good on him. But eventually he will grow his business to a massive size and the whole things starts all over again.

  27. We here in Germany think the prices are way too much for internet. compared to other European countries it is still costly. But 180$ a month for internet is a bit too much. I am with a regional provider here. I have Fibre optic till my house. I pay 44€ for 250/250 Mbps. Americans are getting ripped off.

  28. It’s the goal of individual agents in capitalism, because the system encourages self interest. In theory, the idea of capitalism is that everything has value, goods and services, and if someone can do a better job and provide same quality at lower cost, they will succeed in the market.

  29. I wonder whether the residents who benefit from the service acknowledge the absolutely enormous government handout required to wire their homes. This is socialism at its finest, in my view. I'ts why some of us believe we should come together to fund projects for the common good.

  30. Why is federal money being used to subsidize internet installation for a handful of individuals? It says here that it costs $30k to get one of these homes hooked up. This is where my tax money is going? What happened to personal responsibility?

  31. One time the guy I worked for had me switch the ISP of the offices over to Comcast and they quoted $55k to run it from half a block up which was ridiculous but after checking with my boss he smiled and said that it was okay. Then afterwards he basically told them to go fuck themselves because there was a state law that capped the install costs at $50... The dude was a legend

  32. My parents live in rural Missouri and were unable to get high speed internet until 6 months ago. I’m sympathetic to the need for internet to reach every household. But the math here doesn’t add up. $30,000 to get internet to some of these homes. Who pays for that?

  33. You know the US has lost its grip when people aren’t even sure if starting your own ISP is legal or not. This is USA. Fuck these monopoly internet companies

  34. This dude is my hero. Also, my daughter is autistic and seeing all the support in this comment section for this guy made my day. You are wonderful people and thank you for giving a dad hope that not everyone will treat her w fear and distain.

  35. Lol.. .55 usd for 100 mbps.. I pay 25 for the same thing in italy. The joke is that 1 gbps fiber costs the same but they can't reach me yet

  36. We can get 1Gb symmetrical for like $45 from ATT, but if they don't offer service to your address it is like $65 for VDSL 25/3mbps. Then they will advertise to you all day long about fiber for less, they don't offer.

  37. I work in the same organisation as this guy. He knows his stuff & is a great asset to the company in terms of his knowledge. But god is he an obnoxious character to work with. Throwing fits over small things, being passive aggressive in emails/chat, dropping from meetings in rage over disagreements etc. Good for him for doing the ISP thing but I highly doubt it is out of goodness or to help people. He’s not that kind of person.

  38. Sounds like he was motivated by spite. Spite got the job done, but now his spite moves on to other things.

  39. back in the days of dialup, I knew a guy who started up multiple ISPs only to turn around and sell to AOL or AT&T or other big ISPs at the time and then start another one. The infrastructure was already there with phone lines and it was much easier back then. This is impressive and awesome. Way to stick it.

  40. I've been dealing with Comcast most of my life because they have a monopoly on acceptable service in my area of PA and never realized how shitty it is until I moved to the middle of bumfuck nowhere and to an area that had a fiber connection and my internet was suddenly cheaper and 10x faster than it ever was from Comcast

  41. He’ll have NNI or near net interfaces to other companies, often multiple for redundancy. 1, 10, or 100G are most common. In almost every city with a decent sized population there is a common building where telecoms interface with each other called collocations.

  42. What a good guy! Stepping in to use his skills for the greater good when the big players couldn’t get the job done.

  43. I guess we were lucky in Eastern Europe with 1 Gbps for around 10 euros a month . But i also remember the good old days with a dial-up connection .

  44. Fuck big ISP’s, but is it really worth $30,000 of taxpayer money for each home?! Especially when rural areas are more likely to be vehemently “anti-socialism”?

  45. I used Comcast/Xfinity for many years. The most annoying thing is the contract it asked us to agree for 1 year. After 1 year it increases the fee dramatically. I had to call the customer service every year. Finally, Sonic optic internet service started to provide internet service in my area. Comcast charged $ 49.95 for 50 mb/sec download and upload was around 3-4 mb/s. Sonic optic service internet speed was whopping 1 Gb/ s (download) and upload was similar 800 -900 Mb per sec. And the Sonic service charges only $55 including tax and everything. The $5 difference made a huge difference in enjoying movies, TV shows, and games. No more buffering. On top of that, I don't have to worry about price increase Comcast did every single year with contract.

  46. Meet a guy that did something similar in another town in Michigan middle farm area. He had a business that got fiber to the town. Got a lease for the water tower to do LOS wireless to his house.... Then started hooking up local farms that knew him or who to ask. He had a few dozen users at something like $30/month for decent high speed better then what I was getting from Comcast in the suburbs.

  47. I'm all for starting a new ISP, but fiber is an incredible waste of money. There are a lot of Wireless ISPs delivering broadband to rural areas for a fraction of the price of fiber.

  48. I think a lot of people don't understand how difficult it is to build and run an ISP. I work for a medium sized hybrid fixed wireless/fiber ISP, medium sized in the sense we have a lot of customers but you could fit all the staff in a single miniature conference room kinda thing. We have a PON network in a relatively small local town recently (nearing completion with the majority done as of now) and I think the total project cost is nearing $1m. That's a lot of startup cost for the little guy.

  49. At $71 million, it's almost $120k per home to install broadband. At what point do you just say it's too much? And why is laying cables the best solution? And what point do you just pay them 100k to move to a denser area?

  50. I pay Comcast $125\month with no contract or data caps (I rent the gateway) for 1.4Gbps download and 45Mbps upload (I don't upload a lot so it isn't a big deal for me). Been this way for over 2 years and they haven't tried to raise my bill once. On the contrary they are always calling and trying to get me to upgrade or get on one of their package deals. I politely tell them to fuck off.

  51. My public utility company expanded their internal fiber network to the whole town. Everyone is now getting highspeed fiber for a good price. It is so popular they have already expanded to half of the neighboring big city and they have built WiFi access points at every single train/bus station.

  52. I know AT&T is bad but in my area their price per mbit just crushes anyone else in my area. It goes from 300/300 for $55/mon to 5k/5k for $180/mon. I was paying Charter (Spectrum) $80 for 100/10 and had to deal with really bad packet loss every evening making online gaming impossible. On top of that, 10 up isn't enough for good quality game streaming either.

  53. When large corporations use government subsidies and loans why don’t the news articles ever describe it as “government money”? Weird they did here.

  54. How exactly does one start an ISP? I get that you would have all local households connected to your servers. But where do your servers connect to?

  55. Wonder how many of the people that get that internet access at a cost of $30k or more (that they don’t have to pay) will use that internet to go online and complain about inner-city people living off the government?

  56. You would think this would be somewhat of a realistic goal in a capitalist society, something of the norm if you look at the wealth of this country. For some reason this is unfathomable to most Americans, it’s like a pretend capitalism, instead of making great things from great wealth we are more likely to go in debt from paying basic living expenses.

  57. Worked at a very big name ISP that rhymes with rectum. Odds are if you have them you’re getting fucked by them. Quit because I couldn’t see so many people be let down by a company that should have higher standards. If they could kill you and take your money and get away with it or pay less then what they get they would do it without batting an eye. Demoralizing.

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