If I were ever to build a last mile ISP

Posted by Thomas Fri, 28 Sep 2007 01:02:24 +0000

Another post that’s been lingering in the drafts for too long…

If I were ever to build a last mile ISP, this is what I’d do:

  • QOS things like I would QOS my own network, relegating bulk services to the bottom of the heap, giving sensible priorities to everything else. No odd net-neutrality biases, just being fair or unfair equally to everyone, just to keep base services snappy so you don’t notice that your neighbor is hogging all the bandwidth. Buy a decent size pipe, but set expectations that everybody will be sharing it and to be good stewards of a communal resource.
  • Allow multicast. I don’t know how this would work, but nobody else is doing it, and I would imagine it would help a bunch. Ideally this would cut down on transit bandwidth, with the added plus of just being really cool.
  • Allow/maybe even facilitate file sharing across the local network. Intra-network bandwidth should be cheap. Let people share all they want on the local lan. Give some guidance so that people know what they’re sharing, how that will affect their bandwidth and their personal computer’s performance, and what liabilities they might incur by sharing.
  • Pursue aggressively cached content. Start with http, but cache as much as possible, even videos or whatever. Maybe even try to work with the big content providers to see what we can work out to be mutually beneficial. But, don’t sacrifice bandwidth for latency. Always make sure that the cached content is as snappy (if not more so) as the original.
  • Give little to no professional technical support. Other cheap ISPs have done this. I would too.
  • Use a good system to mitigate virus traffic and segment offenders from the network. I think that there are a couple of implementations in the wild doing this. Re-checks must be quick and efficient, so as to not punish people unduly.
  • Don’t provide any email or web hosting. Less complexity, less to support, and less to break. Point them to nice email hosting like Gmail or Google Apps.

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