Internet Service Provider Business
I don't know doddles about this subject but I hope to learn what it takes to run a Internet Srvice. About the only thing I know is that the equipment can be expensive. If I can get some ideas about this subject, then maybe the rest will follow ...
Question 1, is this a good business venture considering the Big Guys, AOL, MSN, ... what might be some other big names?
Question 2, if somehow I figured out the hardware requirements, then what about the browser software. I have heard of Apache... is this basically the only or best alternative to the big name browsers?
It would really depend on how much access your area currently has. If your area has lots of local ISPs or broadband penetration, I think it would be more difficult.
As far as hardware for a dial-up ISP, you would want at least a partial T1 connection to the internet. I'm not sure what kind of software you would need to split the connection, but I don't think that would be too hard to figure out.
You would also need a number of dial-up lines for your customers.
Software wise, Apache is a web server, ie, it will allow you to host a web site. You would also need an email server and, possibly, a usenet news server.
One of the benefits of having a local ISP is that you could host local meetups/parties for your customers to add a community feel to it.
I worked for two local ISPs after highschool. Both were sucessful to a point. It took at least two years before they started turning a profit, when the user base was enough to bring in more than the expenses.
Both were also bought out later by larger ISPs, so the original investors did get some money in their pockets, but those of us who ran the damn thing were left out to dry.
If you were going to start one today, your best bet would be to start it in a small town that does not have local access numbers to any other ISPs. My bet would be that in a year or two, one of the larger ISPs will try to buy you out, then maybe you'd make some money.
Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.
Show notes from the Screen Savers on TechTV.
Leo's Answers Live Calls From Thursday, 10/9/2003
BECOME AN INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER
Shawn from Vincennes, Ind., called asking how to start his own ISP.
There's no such thing as "The Internet." You can't just go to the magic Internet place and start buying and selling. Even ISPs have ISPs that connect to the larger Internet backbone.
To become an ISP, you'll need to buy data wholesale and sell it retail. You'll also need to invest a lot of money in equipment up front. Talk to your telephone company to buy wholesale.
or MCI/UUNET, http://global.mci.com/uunet/ should be able to help you.
[This message was edited by PN on 10-10-03 at 08:51 PM.]