Motherboard — an imprint of Vice — has announced that it will build a community ISP branching off its Brooklyn headquarters, built on meshing wireless protocols, and connected to the internet via high-speed fiber lines terminating at a network exchange.
They'll also publish a guide to starting your own ISP, based on their experiences.
The announcement of the community ISP was timed to coincide with the FCC's announcement that they would be killing net neutrality; the Vice network pledges to uphold net neutrality principles.
In hopes of making this replicable, we will document every step of this process, and will release regular updates and guides along the way. Next year, we'll publish the Motherboard Guide to Building an ISP, a comprehensive guide to the technical, legal, and political aspects of getting a locally-owned internet network off the ground.
Projects like these are possible and affordable today, and are being practiced by groups like NYC Mesh and the Equitable Internet Initiative in Detroit. Enterprise-level fiber connections can be purchased from the same data centers and internet exchanges that big telecom companies use, then distributed using point-to-point Gigabit radio, which have ranges of up to 8 miles.
Today, the FCC stripped away regulations that protect net neutrality, but telecom companies can only end internet freedom if there is no alternative. Motherboard and VICE are dedicated to teaching those who want it how to build that alternative.
Motherboard & VICE Are Building a Community Internet Network [Jason Koebler/Motherboard]
(Image: Lara Heintz)