Although this stuff can be great fun, you have to stop and ask yourself why the market is "under served" and why there isn't already some dude supplying these customers, driving around the city in his Lexus and waxing his new boat on the weekends.
The unfortunate truth is that there just isn't that great a business there, especially in light of its quite high capital costs and quite significant risks.
It is a business that suits larger players who can spread the fixed costs across many cities. It is a business that suits providers offering a basket of services, not just IP transit (TV, Phone, value-added network services). It is a business that demands either a) high price boutique offerings (e.g. the people you end up buying your upstream connectivity from) or b) rock-bottom/who-cares-about-quality, high-volume products (e.g. Charter/Comcast). A small new player can't compete in either of those markets.
I could go on, but really : would you be super-excited if you had the idea to build better electricity transmission lines to a bunch of folk; or a better sewer system? No. And the reality is that IP connectivity is not much different to these other utilities.
We're Wifidabba.com and we're in the current batch of YC. We provide low-cost internet in India at tea-stalls and bakeries. Consumers buy tokens and get access to wifi. In effect, we take a broadband connection and slice it into tiny pieces and sell that as wifi.
I guess in some ways we're an ISP, the government certainly thinks so, we've had to apply for an ISP license.
We're only a few months old, but we're reasonably profitable and the future looks good.
I think there's room for new ISP's if you're willing to be creative about how to grow the number of customers you want to reach. For example, we're getting tons of inquiries about being an IOT platform amongst other things.
*edited for clarity
While you are apparently cheap you'll still make more money per GB than an isp that tries to compete on the "Unlimited" plans.
When we spoke to our users they said the following:
- Way faster than Jio (We offer 100mbps)
- The price was so low that they didn't mind paying
- They don't trust reliance and the ID process of getting a jio connection
- It's so cheap and fits in their daily routine of getting chai, cigarette, etc.
What do you use for backhaul? chaiwalas and paanwalas aren't going to have network access in form of fiber or even cable on the street so i guess 4G hotspot? Also, Is there a way people can pay the stall owner some money and get a token from him? People here generally dont prefer online transactions.
Tokens are physical and work exactly the way you describe. Pay cash, get wifi.
Or maybe an IOT platform of sorts, for example, you're an FMCG and you want to know that your shipments really did arrive at the location your distributor was supposed to deliver it.
India's a challenging country where > 80% of our retail is fragmented into millions of micro-stores.
I understand where you're coming from, but it is different. You have ample power to power your home; utilities can fulfill whatever your power requirements are.
The same can't be said about IP. I am literally incapable of live streaming from my parents house, no matter how much I'm willing to pay. There's no internet option, among the few available, that are capable of fulfilling my requirements.
Consider the analogy further : if you built a house in a place with no power line, you would expect to either not use much power, or to pay a hefty fee (10's of thousands) to get power brought in. But folks expect to get Internet capable of streaming Netflix 4K (on two screens concurrently) for $50/mo.
Chris has been hanging out with us (Treasure State Internet, our startup ISP in Montana) in a Slack channel called ISP School.
If you're interested in any aspect of starting and running an ISP, please join us. http://slack.tsi.io/#ispschool
Edit: it appears there is a 5 guest limit per paid account.
Edit 2: I think I'm going to set up a Mattermost server and push people that way.
Rooms are of an unlimited size and have all the core functionality like file & image sharing, code highlighting, "reactions", which we've come to expect but also focuses more on getting people to speak to each other. It's built on electron and is both really quick & also require almost no resources when running in the background.
For non-tech people, yeah, it's probably easier.
It may be aiming for it, and I do hope we see an open chat protocol succeed over all the Slacks and HipChats, but calling it the successor right now seems a little disingenuous!
Edit: Note this statement is based on my talking to people actually at matrix, on the dev team.
I would suggest that you declare a 2am Thursday maintenance window and use a script to automatically reboot all the devices. This in combination with checking that you have a good separate ground wire connection at all antenna locations should pretty much fix it. The reboot cycles the power and should hopefully drain anything extraneous.
As other commenters have suggested, check your ground potential and make corrections as necessary.
Er, does it? Some of the components might go offline, but there's usually still a trickle-charge running to the components even when the computer is "off"—and especially the ethernet card, for Wake-on-LAN support (even if it's disabled.)
I eventually got to the point where I was like, "Fk it, I'll do it on my own." Now we're looking at microtrenching, which is probably an even larger endeavor, but at least we'll own the conduit.
Hi Chris - good work, inspiring to read. I'm in Bournemouth, UK, and around 10 years ago FibreCity was a company created to attempt to connect all the houses in Bournemouth to FTTH - initially by using sewers, but eventually by microtrenching. I actually had a month's trial (1Gps, which was incredible), but the company folded, and from what I recall the costs were immensely greater than they even thought with the microtrenching; they also managed to P off nearly everyone in the area as they promised very little disruption, but actually led to no difference compared to normal trenching works. Ultimately large parts of Bournemouth now have FTTH which is dark, which is disappointing.
Not trying to put you off, but just mentioning it as a study or worthwhile research - you seem like a good guy doing a good job, so hoped I could contribute something.
Even if you guarantee a rate of return, somebody still needs to finance the buildout.
Second issue is, how will infrastructure that is installed, but not used be paid for? Take rate is rarely 100%, so who is going to pay for that part and how?
Sadly this isn't true. Banks lend you money if you have collateral.
> And if take rate is 60%, then those that take the offer have to pay 100%/60%=166% of what they would have payed with a 100% take rate.
That only works if the customers are willing to pay 166%. The shit really hits the fan if you get the take rate wrong and your costs exceed what your customers have agreed to pay.
It might not be the response you want, but it may make it more likely that someone will respond.
I find that really hard to believe. Go to their offices and ask for the manager.
> I eventually got to the point where I was like, "Fk it, I'll do it on my own." Now we're looking at microtrenching, which is probably an even larger endeavor, but at least we'll own the conduit.
Building your own facilities is no joke. Unless you are made out of money, you'll be far better off putting more effort into renting existing ducts.
I've been on contact with another ISP, https://tsi.io who has successfully done micro-trenching with very minimal capital. We're doing all of the work ourselves to reduce overhead.
$7/ft is more than you should be paying. Get some more competing quotes.
I'd be very surprised if you can hit $30-40k per mile all in when microtrenching.
Source: 7 ISPs. In Africa. On unreliable power, broken fibre, people stealing your spectrum, etc.
It takes place during the very first time I visited Kampala (the capital of Uganda). It was about 3 years before I had started working in the ISP/telecom space in Africa. This particular trip was soccer-specific (I was working on the team that delivered one of the big trans-national African tournaments' games on television), thus the non-ISP nature of it.
We arrive at our hotel, having driven just under an hour from Entebbe to Kampala. It's fairly pleasant, albeit a tad humid (it's mid-day and near the equator after all; 36C and >=70% humidity - not the worst). There's a group of around 30 of us that now need to check in... this always takes a little while.
So, everything goes on. You loaf around the hotel reception until it's your point in the queue, grab some water now and then when you can. Finally, you're standing at the front desk, starting your process of checkin.
You read off your name... the person behind the counter finds you in the list (of fortunately mostly checked-off people - yay alphabet precedence!), and starts doing some stuff on the front desk computer. At which point you glance over to said desktop and notice the UPS jacked into the UPS jacked into the UPS (yes, three) jacked into the computer. You idly inquire about this. The response is "oh, yeah, the other ones died with all the power outages".
Not a joke, as it turns out. While you're doing your checking, the building experiences a brownout twice.
Years later, you get there for a totally different reason. Time (literal years) has passed. And during setup of some equipment (here, I'm skipping about two days' worth of time), you find that the reason your laptop screen kept dimming and your DC UPS' kept beeping.... is because you're getting such major voltage swings on the building feed that everything is going over-or-under-voltage.
This is daily life (in many parts of Africa). It isn't a thing to fight against. It just is. You take it, and try to do your utter best. You try to deliver your utter best.
And if you just push hard enough (and, imo, if you're really, really lucky) you maybe get somewhere with it!
Love to chat/commiserate more about your experiences
People are paying for a service, and they expect it to work.
I once (another country, another ISP) dealt with a query/complaint of "it doesn't work!" which turned out to be due to a snowstorm taking out _the entire area_. Which people knew about! And still complained!
The expectation for the service is really much of the same.
Almost ironically, the first marker that people phone about is "my email doesn't work!"
edit/addendum: your customers also have their own solutions for dealing with power outages - more UPSs, generators, laptops (with internal wimax or 3G chips), etc
Still, I'm sticking around. There's potential to do good here.
The load cycle literally killed them in that time.
Over provisioning the runtime on the UPS can help if you can afford the extra upfront cost.
What someone really needs to do is make a UPS that just attaches to a standard deep cycle battery, as those can be easily sourced locally pretty much anywhere and one can pick the battery to fit the application, rather than be stuck with the crap batteries the UPS manufacturer decides to use (they typically use high C batteries which do not like deep cycling).
What could definitely help is putting good power conditioning equipment in front of the UPS. That at least will protect the AC-to-DC first stage from overvoltages and shorter brownouts. If the PCE comes with fat enough supercaps, it can also protect the main UPS by preventing it from draining the battery at all.
@froztbyte I'd be doubly interested in a writeup of your experience, have you blogged anywhere?
Past aside, there are many things already underway, in many areas, that you could be involved in if you wished. Do some research around areas that you find yourself interested in (both technologically, and geographically), and see where that takes you.
It's fun, and educational. It empowers the ADHD in me.
I whish I knew more about the laws on common access to equipment/lines. For example, the only cable provider locally is Suddenlink, AT&T Uverse is still on copper phone lines, and there is only one local ISP bringing fiber to residential customers. The local ISP got a huge bunch of grants for the fiber rollout (of course someone embezzled a bunch of it (few mil) and they had to get bought out to get the new set of grants) but all I want to know is: if the government payed for the fiber rollout, shouldn't I be able to use it as well for a nominal fee of some sort?
What about ownership and fees on the last mile? How does all that work? I just wish there was a clear and simple place to find this stuff out. It feels like the ISP game is really geared towards big companies expanding or buying existing ISP's, and is not very encouraging of small local competition.
Of course, that's where WISPs come in, because it is so much simpler to not have to deal with all the trenching and agreements, and the equipment is getting better and better and cheaper and cheaper. (loving ubiquity airfiber products for example).
Anyway, more power to you, I hope things work out. I would like to see more posts about the business/political/technical struggles you run into.
Read about ILECs/CLECs. Understand what the cable offerings' contention model is.
Do the math.
Understand the support burdens of NAT-on-NAT.
Run the numbers of RF contention, and shared-medium bandwidth management.
Probably the best advice I could give here: It's very easy to do a mediocre job of all this. It's a fair bit harder to do a good job of it. And think of how much you dislike the mediocre ISPs.
Here's the kicker. Comcast was willing to drop a line to the house for around $15,000. No thanks. With two m5 ubiquiti radios and 100ft of ethernet cable, I solved the problem spending less than $300. It would have been nice to have a direct connection, but I'd rather save some money.
The radio's have been up for 5+ years now. I had a problem with one of the POE adaptors once, but other than that I think these devices are cost-effective and robust. I believe these radios can help bring about internet connectivity for a large portion of the unserved population. Easy to setup. Cheap. Robust.
Fiber is more expensive up front, but cheaper in the long run if your bandwidth requirements grow. Fiber also does not become obsolete, like wireless equipment.
I'm interested in what sort of investment and the terms you'd be comfortable with (I've helped built and operate datacenters, a web hosting company, etc; I'm familiar with the capex and returns involved). Mind if I reach out via email?
Would be great to talk shop sometime.
My CEO would like to chat with you guys soon.
Sorry in advance if I don't get back to you right away.
You should be able to find a list of other, similar ISPs in PA on their web site that you may be able to collaborate with.
Also, their bi-annual conference is in a few weeks in Memphis, TN. There will be "fiber workshops" that you may or may not find interesting.
The cost of equipment depends on the installation. If we use Ubiquiti sectors and CPE's, the sectors run about $500/each and each CPE is around $130. I don't think we have a sector with more than 6 clients on it and I don't think I'd be willing to put more than 10 on one, depending on the channel and signal, each antenna has around 250 Mbps of capacity. So if we have 6 clients on a sector, that's about $213/subscriber.
Most of our business customers are on PtP radios. I use Mimosa B5-lite's for those, which are $300/set.
Some of our customers are in properties in which we already have equipment, so the cost there depends on how many customers are in the same building. I'll typically run the CPE to a switch and then branch out to customers from there. Let's say that the property has 3 subscribers and I used a Mimosa B5-lite to the property. Add $300 for a switch and we're at around $200/subscriber.
I'd probably say that a client, on average, costs around $250 to get setup.
Every antenna and switch in our PoP is connected to a UPS system; I have one large 3U UPS and a few stand-alone desktop UPS's. They probably total around $2,500. We use a small fraction of our available bandwidth; that's not a concern. What is a concern is the spectrum available per antenna, which is why I said I would not put more than 10 clients on an antenna.
I'll write another post about the cost of fiber.
I look forward to the fiber write-up.
If all client stations have good, clear signals, the latency is around 1-2ms. But that can spike quickly if you're dealing with interference or other causes of low SNR.
Our city is looking at doing a community fiber build, where the city owns the strands and the use is open access. I think it's the future and we're pushing for it as a company as well.
I've started another company recently called OpenOptic where we are working on SDN solutions that automate operations with virtualization and user control portals.
It's been a freakin fantastically fun first year so far.
Love to swap stories sometime.
Also WebPass in SF is very similar those guys are awesome, can't live without them, one of the reasons I always choose soma skyscrapers to live in.
I hope then that you're not the only person working at NEPA Fiber. How many employees do you have?
If you look on the DSLReports Wireless ISP forum, most of the smaller WISPs are doing exactly this, and eventually they may bring a person on to answer the phone, and an installer, but until you get a bit over 200 subs you can do this.
Good luck, I look forward to keeping up with how things are going your side of the Atlantic.
I've got an answer for that - "You're doing God's work". Sounds silly, sure, but you've decided to tackle a really hard problem that's ultimately much riskier than that which you've mentioned (higher capital, lower profit margins, smaller customer base). But speaking as someone with a lot of experience in communities poorly served for Internet service, it's a life changing thing when broadband suddenly becomes available where it once wasn't (or was so poorly served by one of "The Bigs" that it might as well not have been).
I'm only half-joking about God's work. I wouldn't have the stones to consider trying to solve the problem you and Chris are tackling and I greatly respect you for taking that risk. Many thanks, even though I'm not in your country and can't enjoy the service you provide!
My condolences running a wisp as well. I know some of the guys at our local wisp, they sell a lot of subscriptions but they really don't have the capacity to keep selling service. Really poor quality connections along with things the OP mentioned like interference and equipment issues.
The equipment was mostly home rolled, real MacGyver type stuff, but we targeted above average industry standards for service. With a little advertising, amazingly we grew very fast and hit several thousand subscribers in just a few months. We eventually outgrew our space and moved into another one just next door to our upstream provider who ran a cable through their ceiling/our floor so we could have have service.
I worked there as we slowly upgraded equipment until we were 56k on all lines and then we started hitting major capital equipment cost issues. Getting those phone company to get us the proper lines for 56k was hard enough (their standard of service was "if you can hear a voice it's fine"), but getting equipment that could support ISDN -- the next big thing -- was a huge transition point.
So we sunk virtually all of our money into the equipment, and then the industry rapidly moved on to rolling out DSL. Turns out customer weren't generally willing to pay the extra fees involved in having ISDN service and were willing to simply wait for the DSL rollout.
Effectively locked out of the new Internet access technology (you could only really offer it at that time if you owned the last mile lines and we could never get close to affording that) the company was sold and we all moved on -- a story that was repeated thousands of times across the country.
To put into perspective the magnitude of the change in the industry, it would be like somebody starting an ISP today, being able to buy and run fiber to the last mile and all that, and then next year a blimp fleet and satellite constellation started offering higher speed, more reliable internet for about the same price you were barely scraping by on. And now to compete you need to launch your own fleets and constellations.
I've never been to the UK, but I believe your population density is a lot higher than that of the US; which is where all of our costs originate (interconnecting the customer to our network).
The main reason I can see is that Comcast (or cable internet) has no real competition. I don't understand why that is. AT&T, Verizon etc seem to have given up on competing. Verizon stopped their rollout of FTTH a while back nearly entirely, though it has restarted very slowly.
AT&Ts VDSL based UVerse solution is way too sparse, with very long cable runs. Compare this to BT in the UK where most VDSL2 runs they are doing are <500m. They're now looking at GFast to push fibre even closer to customers, getting copper runs down to ~200m.
Ok, so this may be caused by low population density, but I'm not entirely convinced. It must be way cheaper to dig trenches in suburbia USA as many of the places don't even have sidewalks to dig up and then expensively refill, you could just trench along the side of the road.
The Telco can offer a few things like fiber connectivity between county buildings, tax payments, etc. By doing that, they secure the rights to the area. Given the federal system of the United States, this is a difficult thing to stop.
This makes true market-based competition within most areas very difficult to achieve.
They do not do that. It's illegal under federal law. Pole and conduit owners are required to rent out access at non-discriminatory rates: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/224.
The reason companies don't overbuild is because it's expensive and there isn't any return. FiOS came to my building in Baltimore. I was the only person on my floor to switch away from Comcast. Even these days, people choose their broadband provider based primarily on the TV package.
But they most certainly can impose enough bureaucracy and other hurdles to make renting factually impossible. Or simply both the incumbent provider and the county employ just a single FTE (or less!) to handle permits, and one can't do anything about it. All while following the letter of the law, because there's nothing in the law that says "county has X days to deal with the permit else it is being automatically granted".
Nothing in the US is "easily" litigated, especially not when you're up against a multimedia conglomerate and a portion of the government itself.
Those two words do not go together.
They definitely do. Our city has a franchise agreement with the incumbent cable provider; they're the only company allowed to provide cable television service. ~10 years ago a company called NuNet tried to come in and run fiber in a neighboring city, Hazleton, and both they and the city were sued by the incumbent for breaching the franchise.
I imagine there are some 30-year exclusive franchises granted in 1991 that are still in effect. I don't actually know of any.
Was FiOS much cheaper/better than Comcast (apart from the underlying tech)?
In the US AT&T and Verizon seem to have given up and want to just do cellular to make money and let their copper plant rot. They are gifting the entire market to Comcast et al.
Cost of the Telcom union, employers and pension adds up, not to mention infrastructure.
They avoid all this by wireless voice, cellular communications.
Still under the FCC though.
I think this is definitely a factor - but it's vastly overstated. The USA is more urbanised than many European countries at 80%, so there's definitely quick wins for the vast majority of the population.
The big difference I see is the way these services are regulated. In the UK for example, the physical infrastructure associated with the last mile is owned by a company that just manages this, with regulated prices linked to asset investment required. Services are then resold to Internet Service Providers who provide the IP services and compete on price and other factors.
The capital costs of providing the infrastructure are restrictive and the advantage of competition does not outweigh the cost of having multiple last-mile infra.
Note - I've used some simplifications on the ownership and extents of infraco/telco ownership, but the concept holds.
Even if you live in an urban area, the prevalence of rural areas (and poor urban areas), has an impact on you, because the US supports rural telecommunications through various internal cross-subsidies instead of direct support.
The regulatory regime plays a role too, but it's more complicated than your simplistic presentation. In the U.K., the last mile infrastructure is owned by a single company (BT Openreach), but equally importantly, the government ensures it is a quite profitable company. Much more so than American utilities. That was a conscious part of the BT privatization: designing a rate structure that would ensure prices high enough to create adequate incentives for investment.
Unfortunately, this kind of thing is rare here.
Plus y'know you can blow fibre to 90% of the population in a reasonable amount of time.
As another point of reference, I live in semi-rural Canada about an hour from a major city and have 150/150 fibre for CDN$85/month.
Semiconductor manufacturing is literally a million times more expensive (~3B investment in a new fab). The sentence I'm quoting doesn't appear to be intended as a joke.
But that's still debatable depending on what level of scale you're talking.
Deploying fiber throughout the entire United States, to every single household, would be near or exceed $1 Trillion. We have semiconductors in likely 99.99% of households now; at what cost? (I don't know, but I'd assume it's probably close.)
Yes, you're talking apples and oranges, but both industries have a few of the same problems. On the "similarities side", deploying fiber at the scope and reach of deployed silicon would be comparatively expensive. On the growth similarities side, a company wishing to enter the "chip production" business could start comparatively small on something like a ARM or FPGA board targeted at a niche market like Bitcoin mining or specialty network equipment using off the shelf chips, custom software and custom printed boards in low quantities ranging from relatively cheap to somewhat expensive, but some would land in the range of "small, regional, ISP", feeding that money back into R&D toward designing a chip to be fabricated by an existing manufacturer (akin to "the national roll out of fiber). There are parts of that business that exist between "soldering a board of off-the-shelf parts" and "Intel" (ARM fits somewhere in that spectrum).
On the oranges vs. apples side, silicon has little/no geographical component outside of regulatory export restrictions. Short of the non-"first chip" related examples I listed above, there are comparatively fewer ways to start small and grow from profits. But expanding from a small regional fiber business to a national fiber roll-out, at this point, hasn't really been done successfully. It's also been tried by several big players and ended in outcomes ranging from disaster (ref. any number of businesses from 1998-2002) to fade-out/quiet abandonment/refocus (ref. Google Fiber). It will take an incredibly long time to do it by feeding profits back into the business.
Also on the "easier to do silicon side" of things is that there are still boutique and niche market opportunities where, yes, a large capital outlay will still be required, but a healthy profit margin can be found due to being the only provider of a market need where the players are willing to spend the money. No such market exists in broadband. Even in locations where service is limited to dial-up, there's a pretty low upper limit on what a business or consumer will pay for that service whereas an FPGA board designed in such a way as to allow it to eek out 25% or greater efficiency doing something comparatively unimportant like mining Bitcoin would have a small, but healthy market with a higher upper limit
Then there's the regulatory overhead which is substantially costlier on the fiber side. On the "chip" side, if you're the actual manufacturer, you have environmental concerns around sourcing materials and disposal, which is no small cost, but see what it takes to just run an underground wire between your home and your neighbors, legally without crossing a street and you'll discover how much harder it is to roll fiber out in a city. Couple that with municipalities/states where large players (for all intents and purposes) own state and local governments and make them very interested in causing grief for a smaller player that could rob them of campaign contributions from the local mono-duopoly.
The worst part, though, is that there's a hard, upper limit on what consumers will pay for broadband even when the only alternative is dial-up. Businesses who require fiber-quality service simply won't locate themselves in places where adequate services aren't offered and consumers won't pay more than about three times the national average (and most will set that limit a lot lower due to lower incomes). It's a commodity service that an entrenched incumbent has every motivation to step in and suffocate a promising start-up early rather than see them succeed enough to cause prices to erode further. Similar problems exist on the "chip" side, but there are opportunities to target boutique/niche markets (bitcoin mining, again?) where the purchasers have specific needs not being met by existing solutions and would be willing to pay substantial sums for something that fits their needs (i.e. anywhere you can substantially reduce compute time while reducing consumption will have a market with players willing to spend comparatively larger amounts of money).
 Maybe it has, but I can't find an example of a micro-regional ISP expanding nationally and all of the large players I'm aware of started as large players in another business that they still serve -- DSL providers mostly were once local telcos, Cable Internet -- cable TV, "enterprise" providers/carriers like Level 3 are really a combination of several local telcos, long distance providers and other telecom service providers that leveraged/extended their existing networks to carry data and merged with their competitors to expand nationally. He mentions the SONET network issues and that just reminded me of Global Crossing's old SONET network (now owned by Level 3).
EDIT: Formatting and removal of a sentence I rewrote but failed to delete.
It's pretty incredible the kind of issues you see when you're running a service your customers depend on - especially if that's potentially latency sensitive. I've seen packets between Chicago and rural Ohio getting routed through both San Jose and Florida. Random down links between major backbone providers and other crazy messes.
That said, those are all hypotheticals. Don't let my imagination stop anyone trying this.
Not really. Fiber has bandwidth to spare. It might add some latency tho, if there are a lot of hops.
> There still is a major privacy issue with peeps that are nodes.
Encryption is a thing.
> And maintenance is going to be a bitch.
Unless you plan to do this purely on private property, you are going to have to negotiate and pay for access to public right of way.
Also, even if you only did this on private property and did not cross any roads or other public spaces, you'd be SOL if your neighbor wasn't a node and they didn't feel like giving you permission to cross their property.
Makes me wonder just how many people are still using dialup these days, due to a lack of any other options (or lack of desire to change..)
The process is basically:
- The FCC designates certain rules, including power limits, for each band.
- Hardware manufacturers build to the rules, get their gear FCC-labeled.
- WISPs (Wireless ISPs) buy name-brand FCC-labeled gear.
- WISPs maintain CALEA capabilities (so 3-letter agencies can spy on you).
- File form 477 with the FCC .
>The IP-based "soft switches" typically do not contain a built-in CALEA intercept feature
Is there a specification you must follow? Like maybe you had a VOIP company with your own custom protocol or softphone, would you just code up some web interface where they have a login and then type in a number to see if any active calls, then click a "Listen" button then an audio stream starts playing. Or is there a well defined way for them to access the call, audio codec, etc has to be?
Based on your article, it sounds like there's a lot of initial capital investment in the beginning.
Or, another option is that they're doing CGNAT on all of their client traffic.
Sorry, this is incorrect -- I'm a network engineer and I've been doing exactly this for years. I advertise "Level3 IPs" to other ISPs/peers, I advertise "non-Level3 IPs" to Level3, hell, I even "re-advertise" some of my customers' PI addresses (that they advertise to me) up to Level3.
Actually, I can advertise any prefixes I want via Level3 -- even yours (assuming you had your own).
n.b.: Now, some ISPs may require an LOA (or similar) before they'll accept certain prefixes from you but that's a (easily solved) procedural issue -- not a technical issue.