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Thread: Non Profit ISP to ensure the lowest bandwidth costs

  1. #1
    Super Grandmaster Lightscribe's Avatar
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    Default Non Profit ISP to ensure the lowest bandwidth costs

    I wrote this in another thread. I feel it needs a thread of it's own.

    Fact: Many new cables are coming in the next few years.

    Fact: Competition drives down prices.

    Fact: The prices will drop, as each new cable is launched, through to 2014.

    Nothing has yet come, from all the conversation on the MyBB forum, about getting together, to start an ISP for all, to purchase bulk bandwidth from an outside provider, like the new cable company's, in order to sell at almost cost price.

    It can be done...

    1) We start a Section 21, Non Profit Company. At least 20 founder members, meeting weekly, bi-monthly or at a minimum, monthly. Nationally renowned attorneys and auditors will be used to oversee the NPO.

    2) Staff is drawn from the founder members first. Only the small number of staff salaries, medical aid and pension, will need to be covered by the small markup on bulk bandwidth, purchased for resale.

    3) Office rental is not required if staff are on laptops, with VOIP or Video conferencing, "working from home". After all, Bandwidth won't be a problem anymore...

    Our mission statement: True, Non Profit, Lowest Cost Bandwidth for all.

    IM me and let's pool our knowledge to get a proper business plan, founder member list and company name started.

  2. #2
    Wugger
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    Default

    I like your idea, but you have a lot of costs not listed.

    Hardware infrastructure, where do you host your network infrastructure? Or do you only resell saix bandwidth?

    Support. There are a lot of noob people out there and you will need a few people on phones to help them plug the phone cable into the correct port on the modem, configuring windows etc.

    Advertising. One of the few reasons a sad company like mweb get so much business is because they are a household name. Marketing on that level is expensive.

    Accounting. How do you collect your fees?

    Contrary to popular belief, ISPs are not rolling in the dough. Telscum, vodacrap and notel are. Maybe IS and so on. But I can bet Webafrica, Openweb or Cybersmart make very little profit.

  3. #3
    Super Grandmaster Lightscribe's Avatar
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    Yes, there are many hurdles...But it's possible with enough people getting together...

    That's why everyone involved will need to give input on what exactly the best business plan should be and exactly what will be required to keep the startup costs the lowest.

    We need ongoing discussion to make it a reality.

    I'm no techie, but I know we can keep away from infrastructure costs, by finding the cheapest solution for accessing the new cables that are coming.

    Support will be given by staff...I enjoy AI bots...many don't realise how many bots they are talking to at support centers...but staff will be drawn from the members.

    Advertising costs will be covered by member bandwidth subscription fees also.

    All transactions are simple as usual. Bank deposit with faxed proof, EFT and email proof or creditcard payment on the website. Paygate has fantastic rates...

    I know that ISP's are not all rolling in the dough...But that does not mean prices should not be slashed as much as is possible.

    I am not being hateful, but rather, like most here, tired of feeling that there is nothing we can do...

    Now, with a little organization, we will be able to get bandwidth at true rock bottom prices.

    We'll be like the SPCA, as opposed to the Dog Grooming Parlour...

    Like people who want to see a better day...not just hope for it...nor just hope others don't notice it's raining...

  4. #4

    Default

    How do you propose to get it into the home when telkom still owns the local loop?
    "Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien." FM Arouet
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
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  5. #5
    Super Grandmaster Lightscribe's Avatar
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    Default

    Untill there are more options, telkom and neotel are the options for now.

    Anyone know of other options?

  6. #6

    Default

    What you're proposing is really interesting and maybe worthwhile in trying but i think the aim of such a project would be to then share all the intracacies related to starting an ISP - being totally transparent - since i think alot of this animosity comes from ppl feeling they are simply being ripped off all the time.

    Also I have a feeling this endeavour is similar to the WUG networks we have already in the main centres although i know they dont tout themselves as an ISP. The user might have to foot an intial high capital cost and cheaper after that.
    And support is a huuuuge factor. You are going to limit yourselves to only the tech savvy. I consider myself above average competent in all things tech but even I cant be bothered to spend more than 10min to sort my JAWUG system out thats on the blink.
    Last edited by PDonut; 26-06-2009 at 12:42 PM.

  7. #7
    Super Grandmaster Lightscribe's Avatar
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    Yes, it will be similar to WUG systems, as in being a "community". The community will be buying bulk, for reselling to anyone who needs bandwith. The community have an interest in ensuring that prices will drop, as and when each new cable is brought into service.

    All founder members will have a say, by vote, after discussions, in what the business startup model is to be, and how it will evovle, to make the most effective and dynamic use of any available systems, to supply international bandwidth, at the absolute cheapest costs, to South Africans.

    Starting an ISP is as simple as doing it. One does not need to be a doctor to own a hospital. Nor a pilot, to own an airline. One needs to find others with a variety of specializations, yet with broad IT interests, who share a common ideal...Ensuring the cheapest international bandwidth possible.

    Then, only when membership numbers are sufficient, will everyone be able/required to pay their monthly membership/specific bandwith package fee, to cover the bulk bandwidth, ISP staff salaries and related costs:

    http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php?t=174982

    http://mybroadband.co.za/news/Telecoms/2911.html

    24/7/365 Telephone support is important and will be done. An active 24/7/365 complaints thread can be maintained on MyBB also. A 24/7/365 secure 100 person capacity chatroom also.

  8. #8
    King of de Jungle Garyvdh's Avatar
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    Progress report?

  9. #9

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    I don't think much will be saved, ISPs already make such a small amount of profit (at least the ones with competitive pricing).

    The other alternative would be to have satellite comm link but then you would need to get some serious investment.
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  10. #10

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    Mmm interesting concept, I am sure there is away to make this viable to make it self sustaining.

    *WoW waits for light bulb to come on*

  11. #11
    Super Grandmaster Lightscribe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyvdh View Post
    Progress report?
    I'm waiting for people to IM me.

    ...If any on the forum are interested in being founder members.

    We need a general membership in the thousands.

    I'm willing to pay to start advertising the Non Profit ISP idea in the newspapers.

    I think that constant ads in Sunday national newspapers will alert people that we are serious and people will start signing up for general, bandwidth specific, memberships.

    I'm not scared to take on the paperwork and most of the running around.

    We need to get the founder members together, in a secure chatroom, to sort out the nitty gritty of exactly how we want to position ourselves in the ISP arena.

    Specific founder member ISP staff roles and responsibilities need to be assumed by vote.

    In one month, with constant chatroom activity, the ISP could be born...

    http://mybroadband.co.za/news/Telecoms/8695.html
    "Building a telecom company is a very capital-intensive operation; we are spending some R11-billion over a period of time to establish our next generation network. From four people when we first arrived in the country in December 2005, today we employ a 1000 strong workforce."
    If 4 guys can start Neotel...20 founder members and a "community" of thousands of IT savvy members can start a Non Profit ISP.
    Last edited by Lightscribe; 08-07-2009 at 03:20 AM.

  12. #12

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    Who do you still need to make this happen, what expertise are you looking for?

    "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."

  13. #13
    Super Grandmaster Lightscribe's Avatar
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    Anyone, able to operate a pc. IM me with just the words "Non Profit ISP Founder Member", so that I can keep you up to date as the numbers grow. We do not all need to be specialists with ISP experience.

    Most on the forums have some IT qualifications, which would help for deeper insight and infrastucture decisions regarding creation and the future growth of the ISP.

    For most founder members, it is fine to simply have a desire to contribute whatever knowledge one has, to help create and maintain the ISP.

    Think of it as sitting on a (virtual) board. You help make decisions, by giving suggestions and by voting on them, to make the ISP the best it can be.

    General members will simply be people signing on in order to qualify for a "Non Profit", specific bandwidth, package, at launch.

    The general members are the South African public. We need about 15000 of them per month if we intend to buy direct from Seacom.

    We may decide, if only a few hundred to a few thousand members sign up, to launch with Neotel or Internet Solutions, since they have major stakes in the Seacom cable, thus we could negotiate a very favourable pricing deal.

    I favour IS. http://www.is.co.za/

    By simply going and buying from IS right now, one can knock the 15% discount from IS, off the price to the public.

    So, ways need to be discussed, that can further reduce costs.
    Last edited by Lightscribe; 08-07-2009 at 03:25 AM.

  14. #14
    Super Grandmaster Budza's Avatar
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    Sounds good. I tried something similar in the local torrents community, with local only.

    Trying to get buy in and commitment is difficult.

    What you will need is to present the numbers. You reckon 15% can be knocked off- that's a good start, but many people have unrealistic expectations… To them, 15% isn't much.

    If you can confirm numbers with IS/whoever, and get back to us with a solid business proposal, you'll do better.

    Give some examples- how much would we save by using your ISP? What amounts would you provide? 10/50/100GB?

    Why does this have to be open to the public? If you can keen it within MyADSL, that would be better and result in less support issues. The users you'll get will consume far more per person than the average Joes- I don't think it's worth catering for them.

    Do you need 15k users or just demand for 15k x ~3GB? With power users forming your base, you can get to high GB numbers quite quickly.

    If you have to commit to a certain minimum with IS to receive the discount, you are likely to need a contract based system- are people prepared to commit to such a system?

    Anyway, I'll IM you so this discussion can be formalised sometime.

    Good luck!

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightscribe View Post
    Yes, there are many hurdles...But it's possible with enough people getting together...

    That's why everyone involved will need to give input on what exactly the best business plan should be and exactly what will be required to keep the startup costs the lowest.

    We need ongoing discussion to make it a reality.

    I'm no techie, but I know we can keep away from infrastructure costs, by finding the cheapest solution for accessing the new cables that are coming.

    Support will be given by staff...I enjoy AI bots...many don't realise how many bots they are talking to at support centers...but staff will be drawn from the members.

    Advertising costs will be covered by member bandwidth subscription fees also.

    All transactions are simple as usual. Bank deposit with faxed proof, EFT and email proof or creditcard payment on the website. Paygate has fantastic rates...

    I know that ISP's are not all rolling in the dough...But that does not mean prices should not be slashed as much as is possible.

    I am not being hateful, but rather, like most here, tired of feeling that there is nothing we can do...

    Now, with a little organization, we will be able to get bandwidth at true rock bottom prices.

    We'll be like the SPCA, as opposed to the Dog Grooming Parlour...

    Like people who want to see a better day...not just hope for it...nor just hope others don't notice it's raining...
    Wow, now my eyes hurt so bad
    Why the many skipped lines?

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