ISP created by a network of neighbors
ArsTechnica.com reported recently about Doe Bay, a small community on Orcas Island, Washington, created their own Internet Service Provider (ISP). The network is all wireless and is dependent upon a microwave receiver link –perched atop their community water tower — with the mainland. Each of the subscribers has their own radio antenna that connects them either directly to another antenna (as a relay) or to the water tower antenna.
The need for this service arose when the CenturyLink DSL became regularly inconsistent. The 1.5 Mbps download speeds would only make it to about 700 kbps — and depending upon network demand almost non-existent.
The community pooled together their resources to purchase the microwave receiver from StarTouch Broadband Services, a local/regional backhaul microwave IP transport company. The Doe Bay Internet Users Association (DBIUA) was then able to build their radio antenna network by utilizing small drones to assist in finding the best locations for antennae, then installing them by tacking them onto tall trees instead of building control towers saving them a great deal of money.
Similar projects exist in serving smaller communities outside San Diego, CA, New York, Germany, Norway, Austria, Greece, and Spain.
For more information about this project, check out this article and supplemental video from ArsTechnica.com