Build Your Own Broadband Infrastructure

If I had my druthers, this is the sort of thing I would do to provide broadband for myself: I would build it myself.

That's right. I would go out and buy a Fixed Wireless Access system and set it up on my property, provided I could get the necessary permission from the cranks who pretend to run things where I might live. This is the kind of thing that would be fairly easy in New Hampshire but next to impossible in tax-happy, restrictive Maryland. In New Hampshire, you Live Free or Die. In Maryland, you're surrounded by idiots who would burn down their own homes with free matches if they weren't explicitly banned from having them, forced to pay an extra tax for three extra fire departments, and if it wasn't for all of those public service announcements telling people not to burn down their own homes.

Here's what some citizens did in Great Britain:

A UK village which raised £37,000 to set up its own network offering 200 homes the super-fast broadband that BT could not deliver has been launched.

Rutland Telecom will offer the residents of Lyddington speeds of up to 40Mbps(megabits per second).

Other telecom firms had said it was not economical to provide fast services to the village.

Getting fast broadband to rural areas is back in the spotlight as the government shelves its funding plans.

It is estimated that around 2.5 million homes in the UK cannot get broadband speeds of more than 2Mbps.

The Rutland Telecom scheme was a joint effort between villagers fed up with slow broadband speeds and a local ICT firm that was reselling BT's broadband.

That's all well and good, but 2Mbps is too slow to bother with. That's technically DSL broadband, but it doesn't cut any mustard with me.

For that money, here's what they should have done:

A Broadband Wireless Access radio network consists of base stations (or Access Points) and Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) radios, also called Subscriber Units (SU). A wireless Access Point (AP) is typically mounted on towers or tall buildings since each customer requires line-of-sight (LOS) back to the base station in order to receive service. The AP delivers a high-speed Internet connection bandwidth to each SU (up to 500 per AP) within it's 60° service sector. Because the AP is communicating with multiple SUs, it is considered a point-to-multipoint (PmP) network. Point-to-multipoint wireless networks are highly cost efficient and easy to manage since the Access Points serve as the management portal and their quantities are limited.

Advantages of Wireless Broadband Internet Access

Trango's high-speed fixed wireless broadband internet access equipment is the quickest and most cost effective way to reach the most customers.

  • Quick and easy to install — faster return on investment, lower Total Cost of Ownership

  • Flexibility — Trango wireless Internet access networks are easy to scale and grow as your business requirements change

  • No recurring costs — you own the infrastructure

  • Low equipment costs — Base station costs are minimal when compared to long range wired facilities costs.

  • Easy to add subscribers — subscriber unit and customer acquisition costs are very low; up to 500 SUs per AP

  • High Speed — DSL and Cable are limited to slow speeds compared to broadband Internet access solutions from Trango: up to 10 Mbps per subscribe

I wouldn't necessarily just accept what "Trango" is telling me; I would shop around and try to find the best deal. Essentially, you have to jump in and put in the tower, then connect that tower to the Internet. That would be prohibitively expensive for most people, but I could handle it, easily. What I would then do is tap the neighbors and see who would be willing to jump in, and I would hire someone to run it like a co-op. Subscriber fees would be set at a level that would allow me to recoup my costs within three years, four at the most. After four years, you'd have to upgrade the technology on the tower, you see. You'd have to live in an area starved of broadband or desperate for a better deal.

Here's how I would go about it--I would go after broadband AND phone service, and see what I could do to take customers and money away from the phone company. But, that's me. I hate the phone company. Always have, always will.

The more people who jumped in, and paid the monthly subscriber rate, the less overall it would cost. So if you had fifty neighbors kicking in a monthly stipend, and if they were geographically able to point something on their house at the tower, all the better. No wires, no digging, no closets on the street. Just a turnkey operation, bringing in the money necessary to sustain and expand the network, if possible. You might have to go with this system, which would be non-line of sight in nature.

The problems would be difficult to surmount, however. You'd have to have someone manage and collect the money; you'd have to contend with a city or local government that would pitch a fit if you actually took business away from someone with a franchise agreement with said local government; you'd have to keep the thing up and running.  I think it would hinge on the tower, though. Most neighborhoods would have issues with such a thing, and you would have to remember that a tower wouldn't be allowed to sit high over the neighborhood (maybe three storeys, maximum).  It would, in effect, make you a small businessman, however. Manage it well, learn to maintain the technology, successfully make it so that the tower was acceptable to the community, and you'd likely make money after a few years.

It's just a thought. I don't have the time to do such things, however. I'm busy blogging, and that's far more rewarding that giving my idiot neighbors faster broadband.