Build your own ISP - cost estimate
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AB
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So you'd like to build your own Internet Service provider. I'd like to help.
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This is the starting point for startyourownisp.com - a guide on how to start and run your own ISP that will give more details. If you'd like to stay posted on my progress with that project or if you have any other questions join my Matrix chat room at:
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#startyourownisp:matrix.org
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or shoot me an email at graham@startyourownisp.com. I'm happy to answer questions if I have time and to politely decline if I don't!
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For context, this was inspired by a discussion on Hacker News here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15784433
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This spreadsheet should give a very rough idea of what it might cost to build and run a Wireless Internet Service Provider. I've tried to estimate the costs of getting a fiber connection, building a tower, and getting all the tools you'll need to get started. I haven't included other costs like advertising, paying your technicians, or buying insurance.
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Just make a copy of this sheet to edit it on your own. (File->Make a Copy).
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A very brief overview - to run a Wireless ISP you will:
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Step 1: Buy Internet Service from an upstream provider (Like a 1gbps dedicated fiber connection from AT&T or Zayo). Ideally you'll get this connection at a reasonable cost at a location where you can also put wireless access points on the roof.
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Step 2: Optionally add more access point locations connected to your main fiber location with wireless backhauls.
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Step 3: Put equipment on your customers rooftops pointed at your access points
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Each wireless link (customer to access point and fiber to access point location) will need to have line of sight. This is important, you can't have trees or buildings in the way. This means some areas just won't work for this type of network.
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For this guide I've used exclusively Ubiquiti wireless and routing and switching equipment. There are many other options, however - for example Mimosa, Cambium, and BaiCells.
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Notes
Step 1: Fiber+Access Point Location
Step 2: Tower
Step 3: Customer Installs
Tools you'll need
Totals