Friday, November 6, 2015

Sick of Crap Internet Service? Make Your Own With Parts You're Sure NOT To Have At Home.

It’s clear I need to forget about a doctorate in technical communication (and all the messy moving to Logan that such a program entails) and begin taking courses in physical Internet service construction (if such a thing is offered).

I’m inspired today in this lunacy by this story at Ars Technica, featuring a group of frustrated internet users on Washington State’s Orcas Island who built their own internet service.

Every broadband service map or list I see claims our area is loaded with internet service options. We’re on our third ISP, and I’ve yet to be dazzled (to be fair, as much as the Ars article pokes fun at Century Link, theirs is the best service we’ve had; we left them because of their penchant for treating current customers like crap at the expense of new customers).

Surely there are people in our own neighborhood smart enough to do this. I know the Madison School District set up their own microwave service to connect their schools. Surely it can’t be hard to do, if you’ve got the knowledge and the money. Our own city of Ammon is working on its own fiberoptic network, but the first time I checked in, their ISP wanted $20,000 just to say hello. We’re a bit priced out of that, for an individual user. Lately, they’ve dropped the price to $3,000 – still a bit steep.

I have no idea how much the folks on Orcas Island invested in their network – the article, like Rodrigo, is a little hazy on the details.

The city is looking for a neighborhood to act as a pilot program; unfortunately per this map of interest, my neighborhood isn’t quite saturated enough yet to get the city’s attention. Maybe I need to go on a campaign or something.

Or go into business for myself. But right now I’m not smart enough. I’m not a community organizer. So it’s the finding people, or the schooling. Or both.

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