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View Full Version : Community Broadband, what would tempt you to join?



OneLine
February 10th, 2010, 09:14 PM
Hi Everyone,

I have been hard at work setting up a community broadband service in our local area, were due to open next month, were nothing fancy, just providing a community service.

Recently the big players in the game have been doing what looks to be a price war on broadband, some are offering broadband for as low as 6 per month, as a community service there is no way we could match that.

I was wondering if I could ask the Ubuntu Community please, what would tempt you to join our community broadband service if we were in your area, something we can't offer is what the big isp players call "unlimited" broadband, the fact is from our research the big isp's are actually picking up the bill in their profits.

Any replies would be most great full to us.

As a community service we will be a not for profit run company, we're doing this for the local people.

Thank You Everyone.

OneLine Community Broadband

thatguruguy
February 10th, 2010, 09:19 PM
Wow. Use a period occasionally.

OneLine
February 10th, 2010, 09:31 PM
Wow. Use a period occasionally.

Hi There,

Thanks for your reply, sorry about that, when I posted my question I forgot I had "NoScript" switched on in Firefox, I have amended it to allow the ubuntuforums domain and have corrected my original post.

Many Thanks again.

forrestcupp
February 10th, 2010, 09:56 PM
It sounds like you couldn't do anything to tempt me. You can't compete with lower prices and you can't offer unlimited access.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there's no way I would go with you guys if I had another service available that is unlimited for a lower price. The only way I would choose something like that would be if it were the only option.

It doesn't matter if you have a good heart; if you can't compete, you won't get users.

ramblinche81
February 10th, 2010, 10:14 PM
6 pounds...mine is 25 pounds equivalent US$.

If the primary commercial providers are offering very low cost and high quality continuous service, there is little you can do to compete and there is no real need to offer alternative service except for users with low technical skills who need local support.

Go back to the mission or purpose of your enterprise as I perceive.......provide low cost internet service to those users who might not otherwise have access. You might have achieved your goal indirectly.

Otherwise, you might be able to attract the infrequent users who don't need the broadband capacity who might also benefit from local tech support.....retirees, single parents on fixed or limited incomes, those who lack the technical training or resources to provide for themselves and need a local community/neighbor rather than tech support on another continent.

OneLine
February 10th, 2010, 10:19 PM
It sounds like you couldn't do anything to tempt me. You can't compete with lower prices and you can't offer unlimited access.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there's no way I would go with you guys if I had another service available that is unlimited for a lower price. The only way I would choose something like that would be if it were the only option.

It doesn't matter if you have a good heart; if you can't compete, you won't get users.


6 pounds...mine is 25 pounds equivalent US$.

If the primary commercial providers are offering very low cost and high quality continuous service, there is little you can do to compete and there is no real need to offer alternative service except for users with low technical skills who need local support.

Go back to the mission or purpose of your enterprise as I perceive.......provide low cost internet service to those users who might not otherwise have access. You might have achieved your goal indirectly.

Otherwise, you might be able to attract the infrequent users who don't need the broadband capacity who might also benefit from local tech support.....retirees, single parents on fixed or limited incomes, those who lack the technical training or resources to provide for themselves and need a local community/neighbor rather than tech support on another continent.

Thank you very much forrestcupp and ramblinche81 for your replies.

t0p
February 10th, 2010, 10:28 PM
One thing that would tempt some people to sign up would be if the service did everything possible to protect users' anonymity/privacy.

An example of how to do this is: use dynamic IP allocation and don't keep logs of who had which IP. That way it would be a waste of time for law enforcement/shadowy government agencies/assorted supervillains to demand you hand over IP info or use nefarious means to access said data.

You could do something similar with all logs. I don't know what the law says about ISPs logging data - but you could certainly do everything possible to protect users' anonymity/privacy.

Post Monkeh
February 10th, 2010, 10:43 PM
if it was community broadband that offered the service via a wireless network, the ability to snoop into badly setup shared folders would interest the voyuer in me.

OneLine
February 10th, 2010, 10:49 PM
One thing that would tempt some people to sign up would be if the service did everything possible to protect users' anonymity/privacy.

An example of how to do this is: use dynamic IP allocation and don't keep logs of who had which IP. That way it would be a waste of time for law enforcement/shadowy government agencies/assorted supervillains to demand you hand over IP info or use nefarious means to access said data.

You could do something similar with all logs. I don't know what the law says about ISPs logging data - but you could certainly do everything possible to protect users' anonymity/privacy.

Thank you for your reply, I'm not sure this will be possible but I will look into this.


if it was community broadband that offered the service via a wireless network, the ability to snoop into badly setup shared folders would interest the voyuer in me.

We will be using BT's telephone network.

Dougie187
February 10th, 2010, 10:52 PM
I agree with all of the replies. It's incredibly hard to compete with someone who can provide more of a service than you can, and at a lower price.

I would make sure that your service is at least, something that most people can live with. Probably something along the lines of 10GB/month for someone who just browses and checks email (maybe even less) would be fine. I mean, cell phone companies charge something like $60/month for 5GB/month.

But adding features that don't cost you any money (like the anonymity suggestion) would be an easy way to make your service appealing.

juancarlospaco
February 10th, 2010, 11:20 PM
Quagga, Squid, apt-mirror, Round-Robin, Bind9, Dhcp3-server can make your network very fast.

nothingspecial
February 10th, 2010, 11:21 PM
What is the reasoning behind this?

What are you trying to achieve?

ugm6hr
February 10th, 2010, 11:24 PM
If you offer a decent value service in areas without an LLU option, you will be on to a winner. The commercial offerings at 6 etc are only available to LLU customers.

Other potentially important options difficult to find elsewhere:
1. Short term / 30 day rolling contract
2. Low user option - Bulldog used to have a Pay-as-you-go Broadband, where you paid per 100MB (or something like that) with a token line rental only

Specifically for Ubuntu users:
1. Linux support
2. Consider offering loaned Ubuntu desktops with line rental - perhaps more useful than a free router (and can also be returned when your contract expires)
3. Associate with a local community group / library, and perhaps target a specific niche market, like they have with the software Eldy http://www.eldy.eu/united-kingdom/

The markets that I can see that are currently unmet are the very low user groups, presumably because there is less profit in them.

markbuntu
February 11th, 2010, 12:09 AM
If you can just get a bunch of people in the community to open their high bandwidth cable/fios service you can do that for free. What you really need to do is figure out a way that assures people that they will not get their computers or routers hacked by doing so and can control the connection when they need to.

I am thinking about how I can use my spare wireless router to do this. I have just started thinking about this but I could probably set it up as a bridge through my FIOS router for open internet access only. I would like to limit the available bandwidth to keep some of the 25MBs for myself, I really do not need all that and would like to open it up for others.

If I can figure this out I could probably get some publicity in the local paper and some volunteers and donated equipment and maybe even a small grant to get it off the ground.

I live in a very densely populated town and there are a zillion wireless routers here, mostly high unused bandwidth cable and FIOS but people are afraid to leave them open so there is very little free access. I think that if they were given open wireless routers that were guaranteed to not get them into any difficulties the whole town would be covered in a few months, for free.

Just an idea.

ramblinche81
February 11th, 2010, 04:22 AM
If you can just get a bunch of people in the community to open their high bandwidth cable/fios service you can do that for free. What you really need to do is figure out a way that assures people that they will not get their computers or routers hacked by doing so and can control the connection when they need to.

I am thinking about how I can use my spare wireless router to do this. I have just started thinking about this but I could probably set it up as a bridge through my FIOS router for open internet access only. I would like to limit the available bandwidth to keep some of the 25MBs for myself, I really do not need all that and would like to open it up for others.

If I can figure this out I could probably get some publicity in the local paper and some volunteers and donated equipment and maybe even a small grant to get it off the ground.

I live in a very densely populated town and there are a zillion wireless routers here, mostly high unused bandwidth cable and FIOS but people are afraid to leave them open so there is very little free access. I think that if they were given open wireless routers that were guaranteed to not get them into any difficulties the whole town would be covered in a few months, for free.

Just an idea.


In a way, my daughter did similar at college. One person in the apartment building would set up a wireless and multiple tenants within range would share. Obvious precautions for firewall at the pc not just the router/ap.

gymophett
February 11th, 2010, 05:30 AM
Wow. Use a period occasionally.

No use in being smart alec.
And the guy was nice about it.

OneLine
February 11th, 2010, 07:16 PM
If you offer a decent value service in areas without an LLU option, you will be on to a winner. The commercial offerings at 6 etc are only available to LLU customers.

Other potentially important options difficult to find elsewhere:
1. Short term / 30 day rolling contract
2. Low user option - Bulldog used to have a Pay-as-you-go Broadband, where you paid per 100MB (or something like that) with a token line rental only

Specifically for Ubuntu users:
1. Linux support
2. Consider offering loaned Ubuntu desktops with line rental - perhaps more useful than a free router (and can also be returned when your contract expires)
3. Associate with a local community group / library, and perhaps target a specific niche market, like they have with the software Eldy http://www.eldy.eu/united-kingdom/

The markets that I can see that are currently unmet are the very low user groups, presumably because there is less profit in them.

Thank You for your reply.

scouser73
February 11th, 2010, 07:26 PM
+1 for Linux support, a headache for me (as well as many others I'd have thought) when you call an ISP and tell them you have a problem and you mention you're on Linux, it's like they go out of their way to make life hell, lol.

Do you plan to do traffic shaping? My thought is that you should as anyone downloading constantly will more than likely reduce speeds for the other customers you have.

It sounds like an excellent idea and I hope that you get it off the ground, will you let us know how you're doing please?

OneLine
February 11th, 2010, 07:38 PM
+1 for Linux support, a headache for me (as well as many others I'd have thought) when you call an ISP and tell them you have a problem and you mention you're on Linux, it's like they go out of their way to make life hell, lol.

Do you plan to do traffic shaping? My thought is that you should as anyone downloading constantly will more than likely reduce speeds for the other customers you have.

It sounds like an excellent idea and I hope that you get it off the ground, will you let us know how you're doing please?


It sounds like an excellent idea and I hope that you get it off the ground, will you let us know how you're doing please?

Thank You, yes I will keep you all up to date.