I want to start my own WISP

SoulSe

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Jan 13, 2005
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I've been thinking about this for a while: buying a chunk of bandwidth and starting small. Setting up the antennae and everything from my house (nicely situated) and providing connectivity to my area for a minimal cost.

I have all the technical knolwedge and I've worked out how much I should have to spend on bandwidth and equipment to begin with.

Are there any legal implications I need to consider? Why aren't more people doing this?

Oh, and if anyone can help me out with dedicated software for this purpose (the servers will all be running Linux - I'm busy learning more about bandwidth shaping)?
 

arf9999

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SoulSe said:
Are there any legal implications I need to consider? Why aren't more people doing this?
well, because it is illegal. Although the 2.4GHz band is not regulated, you still need to have a license to broadcast a signal over your own property boundaries or public roads. Currently Telkom and Sentech have the relevant licences and they're not sharing. In theory, ICASA could shut you down and confiscate your equipment.
 

SoulSe

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arf9999 said:
well, because it is illegal. Although the 2.4GHz band is not regulated, you still need to have a license to broadcast a signal over your own property boundaries or public roads. Currently Telkom and Sentech have the relevant licences and they're not sharing. In theory, ICASA could shut you down and confiscate your equipment.
Interesting. So how are other users on this board running their WLUGs or whatever they call it? Surely that is also illegal then?

Is there no chance of ICASA granting me such a license? I uses to work at a radio station, so I know what they're like.

I also wonder if they would actually take action... it's not worth the risk though, of course.
 
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arf9999

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SoulSe said:
Interesting. So how are other users on this board running their WLUGs or whatever they call it? Surely that is also illegal then?
Yup, definitely so. You should contact daffy, he will give you some info on the risks etc.

SoulSe said:
Is there no chance of ICASA granting me such a license? I uses to work at a radio station, so I know what they're like.
No harm in trying, but I doubt it. The big VANS aren't allowed to self provision networks, si I can't see them allowing smaller WISPS to do so under current regulations

SoulSe said:
I also wonder if they would actually take action... .
That, as they say, is the 64 million dollar question.

In Cape Town it seems that there are a few WISPs operating, and it seems that they are not being targetted by ICASA. But it may just be a question of time.....
 

daffy

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Unfortunately, WISPs are illegal.. and so are all the community wireless networks..

But, If ICASA were ever to take action against them, I doubt they'd try to take down a community run, not-for-profit, educational network. (They wouldn't make any money out of it anyway).
They'd rather go after the WISPs.

1) WISP's sell Value Added Services, and I dont know of many WISP's with VANS licenses.
2) WISP's advertise, and are quite blatant about their disrespect for the law.
3) If ICASA fines a WISP, they'll get their money.. and ICASA are very poor right now...
4) Most WISP's completely ignore the EIRP limit for 2.4Ghz, which is 100mW, which is just another reason why ICASA would come after them.

Start a WISP at your own risk, and g-d help you if you cause interference with anything...
 

SoulSe

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I won't even consider basing a business on something that is illegal - no way, no how. Even if the law isn't fair, it's just not sound business practise.

It'll be quite a lag when those Cape Town WISPs get their equipment confiscated and suddenly have to explain to hundreds of customers why their internet is down.

Oh well, I had to ask ;) Lets hope the law is ammended sometime soon so we can catch up with the rest of the world. A friend of mine in New Zealand makes a killing off of his WISP.
 

ic

White Walker [wearing a MyBroadband Jacket]
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AFAIK (thanks to MyADSL), WISPs (not all) consider the expense of having their equipment confiscated, to be a nuisance, they simply put up new stuff & continue as before - in theory at least. ICASA has taken a few to court & ICASA has also had a losing streak.
 

bb_matt

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I'd like to know how ICASA would track down WUG's if they are operating within the EIRP limit ?

I suppose they could just war drive around looking for signals, but that would be so pointless as the cost to do that surely would be prohibitive.

Surely they would just keep thier ears open for WISPs operating illegally rather than driving round the streets sniffing for signals ?
 

arf9999

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bb_matt said:
I'd like to know how ICASA would track down WUG's if they are operating within the EIRP limit ?

I suppose they could just war drive around looking for signals, but that would be so pointless as the cost to do that surely would be prohibitive.
...or they could just go to nodeDB and get the GPS coordinates....
 
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dominic

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ICASA have stated - tho not in writing - that they regard use of the ISM bands by wisps as being legal - this does not mean they are so but does shed some light on their potential attitude

there have not been confiscations in CT for a while that i am aware of but there is stuff going on in PE at the moment which i will be able to shed further light on soon
 

ic

White Walker [wearing a MyBroadband Jacket]
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arf9999 said:
...or they could just go to nodeDB and get the GPS coordinates....
Yeah that's what I was thinking on my 1st visit to NodeDB, basically there you have a nice map & more info & ways of getting in touch.

If I were ICASA, I would <deleted reason="there are bits of ears floating in cyberspace..."/> & Bob's their tannie, simple as that. Probably take about 15mins tops & you don't even leave your office chair.
 
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MaD

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Don't give them ideas man, they have enough on their plate at the moment! :)
 

ic

White Walker [wearing a MyBroadband Jacket]
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Noted, evasive action taken :).
 
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