Would you replace your existing internet provider with a community-based ISP, assuming that you'd (at the very least) keep the same speed? If so/not, why?


Β· Β· Mastalab Β· 59 Β· 168 Β· 46

@GigaByte4711 more incentive to do their "best" if they're the ones using it, right?

Exactly. Running it as a not-for-profit means that the goal of the service is to provide the best internet service possible, not to make as much money as possible.

When you know that your provider's key metric is satisfaction, not sales, that's when you're doing it right.

You also get transparency in the financials and costs of the company.

@GigaByte4711 I’d worry it would turn into someone’s opportunity to be in charge and/or a hobby for people who like committee meetings... so maybe not?


Fair. If it was a not-for-profit company set up for this reason, backed by community funding, do you think that would alleviate that sort of bureaucracy?

@GigaByte4711 Maybe? There’s plenty of drama in not-for-profit companies too, but it would at least have a mitigating effect.

@GigaByte4711 (Actually, that’s probably too negative. Running it as a company could work pretty well, as long as the oversight mechanisms were set up properly.)

@GigaByte4711 I would want to see specs and how it works before id say yes. And id like to see tye price tag and how it would be paid.

@GigaByte4711 if you are talking about towns that start their own ISP and lay down their own infrastructure then id really only want to see price and how it will be paid for and restrictions of its use


Of course I would, even if it was a mess and poorly run it would still make commercial ISPs at least try a little to be consumer friendly out of alarm.

@GigaByte4711 My current provider constantly has issues, including constant "interruptions" that are unexplained

Probably a lot less price bumping for no reason. There would be more visibility into the challenges it's facing and the community could be able to help fix and improve itself. It would also probably just be better.

@GigaByte4711 I probably wouldn't because we've been using RCN and they've pretty great. If we were still with Verizon/Time Warner I'd switch to anything else in a heartbeat, though.

@GigaByte4711 @DissidentKitty I wish that were an option. My provider is only one that offers comparable speed to my building so they screw me on price because they know they can.

@GigaByte4711 I'd opt for "maybe" - I'd definitely need more information about such a service before I could make a decision either way, such as price, speed, contention, services offered, traffic prioritisation methods used, etc.

@GigaByte4711 If it's community driven it's probably more focused on important things (like privacy) instead of raw profit.

@GigaByte4711 My ISP is pretty good actually but I'm up for trying something new and seeing how it goes.

Not the solid reasoning you're probably looking for, but that's my take.

@GigaByte4711 I'm on a municipal ISP (owned by the city) at least, and it's already a marked improvement over purely commercial ones because they actually spent the money to build a modern FTTH network even for villages with way too few people to ever be economical for the commercial providers

@elomatreb @GigaByte4711 Sure. I think communications should be treated as a public resource like roads, not something for investors to milk money from.

@lroop @GigaByte4711 It's so obvious in Germany

We privatized the telecommunications provider (what is now Deutsche Telekom / T-Mobile) in the 1990s and now we have infamously bad internet infrastructure (but the company has massive profits)



We have BT, and I'm sick of paying so much just for 57M down and 17M up.

Gigabit is quite expensive, but there are government initiatives that can pay up to Β£2500 toward the coat of getting fibre to a business, or a community (minimum 10 people served)

I was considering the cost of approaching my local council to put forward the idea of a village-based WISP that could provide up to 100Mb to each home.


I voted "yes", but I would prefer if "community" meant the city government.

A locally owned ISP business would be my second choice.

I'd be nervous of any neighborhood-run non-profit. I'd worry that it would be run by the same sort of people who want to be on an HOA committee so they can judge their neighbors.


I was considering the cost of approaching my local council to put forward the idea of a village-based WISP that could provide up to 100Mb to each home.

The idea of setting up a nonprofit for it might keep it out of the hands of people that like meetings, etc.


I'm in USA, and I'm not sure if city councils fill exactly the same role in US and UK, but if the local city council set up an internet service, I would be the first in line.

If someone ran for a council seat on a "Local Internet For Our City" platform, I would absolutely vote for them.

No, because anything that's community based always goes to shit.

@GigaByte4711 what is a "community based ISP"? How does it work? How does it differ from a corporate ISP? Are there already some in existence? What are the users saying? I'm asking because I never knew such a thing existed (or might).

@GigaByte4711 i would do so even with lower speed as long as it is cheap and rather reliable Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―

also symmetric up- and download-rates, and longlasting public ips!

@GigaByte4711 In fact, we already do use a community network β€” KPUD in Kitsap County, Washington. They were the only ones who could bring us Internet after Comcast and CenturyLink both failed to bring any form of broadband to most of the county.

@GigaByte4711 Yes,absolutely.I don't think that my provider is that bad.Well,there are so many worse options.But after all it's still a for-profit company and if I get the same quality for not too expensive prices,I always try to support community projects.


@GigaByte4711 At least here in the US, the big duopoly is the telco and the cableco, both of which REGULARLY rank foremost in customer dissatisfaction. That's if you even have a choice between telco & cableco.

Regional/community-based ISPs tend to have to work harder so service tends to shine (and they tend not to have quite the artificial money-bilking caps that the big players institute).

For me, all started as community ISPs.

We, as kids, connected using cables and cheapest switches. The cable sticking out of the window, going to roof, roofs connected by another cables.

It always started as LAN, and someone had internet and shared.

The LAN was unreliable AF (say, one PC shutdown often meant half network down), and when real, "business" ISPs came - people quickly switched..

@GigaByte4711 no because I already use a community based ISP. It's both cheaper and faster

@GigaByte4711 a whole host of reasons namely that I could have a say in what happens and make sure it remains private and secure, I'd actually be interesting in helping run one and setting up infrastructure

Been toying aroubnd with the idea of founding an internet service co-op with some friends. We live in an area with a lot of IT/engineering people and quite a few seem interested.

Yes, but I'd be jumping ship as soon as the reliability falls.

Mayyyyybe I'd have both as redundancy

In 90s and 00s we had providers that were very local, couple of districts. They formed local networks and local communities. Those were times!

I miss those times.

@drq @GigaByte4711 we even had this in 2010-2012. I remember local forum, DC+ hubs and so. :)

Then ISP added unlimited Internet access at same cost and all of this just died in year, maybe less.

@GigaByte4711 Honestly no. It makes invasions of privacy much more impactful if its localized.

@GigaByte4711 Assuming it would mean #privacy is respected and the traffic of users wouldn't be logged, tracked, or otherwise monitored, then it's the *only* sane option.

@GigaByte4711 Bo back to the way it was when I started? YES. YES PLEASE.

Gave Tezcat it's first check so they could get started back in the day, and that was a reliable, customer oriented, knowledgable, and functional ISP.

It was my ISP until I moved from Chicago. While there are some of those original providers left, they mostly have been replaced by... well, people like my eventual employer where I ended up when I left Chicago.

And having worked for one of those providers, let me assure the first person who responded that the concern over meetings by people who just want to have meetings - that is why your current provider can't get anything done, and why they don't care to.

@GigaByte4711 Depends, my LTE ISP provides in the best case 40 Mbit down and 10 Mbit up (at the moment 26/5.8) for unlimited traffic for 20 € per month.

My ISP offers shit speeds at high prices because it's a state-granted monopoly and it can.

@GigaByte4711 Our coop already owns the fibers and PoPs. Would love a community ISP but afraid this requires more technical ability than a local CoOP could provide...

@GigaByte4711 As a tech guy, I understand the allure of breaking off from monopolistic corporations, but:
1) they aren't subject to a future vote or non-public political decision (GOP has been trying to kill MAIL for 50+ years)
2) the government has to go through them to spy on us (soon DoH will mitigate a lot of that of it isn't outlawed somehow)
3) I live in WI where our roads have gone to pot(holes) in one administration and don't want underfunded infrastructure to crap out

@GigaByte4711 Sorry, for whatever reason I took this to mean local government.

In terms of smaller private entities, they still are easier to bully for the government and introduce a couple new issues.
1) staying power - I also have seen the Rib Mountain ski area get bought out by big money because Mom and Pop wanted to retire
2) technical expertise - my employer relies on a small vendor and they're down constantly because of no money to attract good workers

Yes and I would also love to participate (run the network) if it would happen in my area ;)


No. I've actually got 2 ISPs here that compete with each other. And both of them offer excellent service, good to excellent bandwidth, and excellent uptime.

It can really only get worse for me.

@GigaByte4711 i would do it, but not necessarily to lower the price of the service

It would be more like, to develop a local economy based on technology, and from that pont...

@GigaByte4711 my preferred solution would be an ISP run out of my municipal government so that the city council can be petitioned to ensure quality and neutrality


The existence of mom and pop ISPs and the dot com boom was a result of the breakup of ATT and rules designed to allow small startups to collocate equipment at the Points of Presence of large providers. ISPs such as Branch Internet would rent unprovisioned "alarm lines" and put dsl on them.

We need large providers to be regulated as common carriers and require them to allow this kind of interconnection and competition.

State of play in 2002:

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