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Bay Area Bandwidth Coop Formed 116

Matt Hempel writes "Is there anything cooler than a T1 to your house? $200 a month through the Bandwidth Coop. " You can also get information on writing off connections on your taxes, and "how we did it". Very cool - I'd love to see more places doing this - anyone else doing stuff like this?
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Bay Area Bandwidth Coop Formed

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  • I think they just want to prevent any "cyberwar" from starting over their network. As to the porn, they don't want to waste their bandwitdh.

    If i could afford $400/mo I wouldn't care about these policies.
  • It ain't gonna last. Live it up while you can. Pretty soon you will have to join the workforce and all that easy living will make you wish you were still in school.

    This dose of reality brought to you by the guy your parents told you about.

    Anyway...... I would love to get a mega conneciton and sell off bandwidth to my neighbors. mmmmmmmmmm bandwidth.....

  • Why didn't I think of somthing like this. Oh wait, I don't have $8k/mo to get it started. It's a GREAT idea. Maybe someday in San Diego.
  • But since there are a lot of areas where DSL and cable modems are not available and won't be for some time, there are people for whom a T1 coop would be the only choice.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 1999 @04:53PM (#1579284)

    First off, thanks for the interest. Except for those who find it amusing to look for open ports in the 30000s.

    DSL is a great deal, if it works well for you. That is, PacBell DSL. Covad/NorthPoint prices aren't that far away from ours, particularly at T1 speed. The website explains why we don't offer DSL: a) it's hella expensive to provide and b) the problems involved with many installations make it prohibitive to support. This is not to say we won't do it in the future, just not now. We're looking into Microwave as well.

    Our facility is in Sunnyvale. The cheapest loop is about $220, it's about $350 from Fremont/San Jose and about $500 to SF. Sorry if that's unclear.

    T1s are ancient, but I'd wait to call DSL king until PacBell's ATM network proves itself capable in the face of pretty serious expansion. A Coop T1 is a clean meg and a half, no questions asked (unless they've figured out how to oversubscribe DS circuits).

    As for terms of service, relax, we're not out to censor you. And we're hardly moral.



  • He's talking about SDSL, not ADSL. Probably runs servers. That costs significantly more, anywhere.

  • I've talked to a number of people about T1 versus DSL, and many DSL customers have had significant outages (for literally 5-8 hours or more at a time).

    If you can possibly get T1, you should.

    In many areas, frame relay T1 will save you money - if you're far away from the company offering a T1, Pacific Bell will sell you frame relay at a fixed price. I think it's about $ 450/month for the frame relay T1, so your cost for the co-op would be $650/month. This is in contrast with the equivalent (industrial strength business-style service) DSL for about $ 420 a month.

    If I could get the deal, I'd take the money and run. Trust me on this one :-). Right now, I pay $1,500 a month for a T1's worth of bandwidth and an office in which the power goes off every other weekend :-(, and a T1 to my home would cost about the same.

    If anyone offers a service like this in the Los Angeles area, please let me know. My email address is valid and on the post.


    ISP FAQ:

  • Right on man! Now that IS COOL! Yea!! I tellya what...The Public deserves a piece...YEA. Thats Right...those property guys trying to auction spectrum, what a buch of crap! We should have regional and nation wide CDMA or Spread Spectrum packet radio links, maintained and operated by amateurs and pros alike...Encrypted Even!!! YEA...Anybody with spectrum qualified gear could play!! YEEEeeEHAAAAaaaa!!
  • DSL tops out at between 1.1Mbps and 1.5Mbps, that is if you meet the loop qual and their aren't a shit load of bridge taps on the circuit.

    I've heard of people getting DSL at 6Mbps. This seems to be a fairly recent advance, and you have to be quite close to the CO.

    - Scott
    Scott Stevenson
  • DSL comes in flavors from 144 kbps all the way up to 1.5 Mbps..

    I thought ADSL was up to 8mbps...

    the SDSL modems I have in front of me do 2.048mbps...
  • You mean people actually want those? They're only ~1.54Mbps raw, folks. Compare this to ~52Mbps over cable (shared) or the ~6Mbps down/~1Mbps up rates of ADSL

    Oh yes, great. As long as you're close enough to the CO to get high-speed DSL, otherwise, you're screwed.

    - Scott
    Scott Stevenson
  • A couple of posts to this story have brought up a good point, which is that if you can find some inexpensive wireless LAN equipment and a sympathetic T1- or T3-owning host, you're in business. That is basically what I've been able to do, using a homemade microwave link for 10-mbit/s connectivity with my office. Details on this construction project are here [].

    The main article on that site contains a link to a mailing list populated by several experimenters who are looking at using this type of link to deliver bandwidth to underserved areas in the US and various foreign countries.

    Although apparently not 'nerdly' enough for a Slashdot quickie topic, the microwave link was the subject of a thread at [], which can be found here []. I'll be glad to answer any questions anyone has about this project, either here, on the mailing list, or at the email address below.

    John Miles (; tried to register but the /. password-mailer seems to be on strike tonight)

  • The rogers problems have to do with the backbone they use. You have to traverse the @home backbone which is actually pretty fast within itself -- but once you try to get to the internet you'll find incredibly oversold links and/or mae or sprint-nap connections that are terrible. Note that rogers subscribers all around the country have this problem. As well, many @home subscribers in the US suffer from below average service also. I'm sure glad shaw decided to keep their links local with teleglobe, sprint and uunet. Otherwise I'd be stuck connecting to this page at an oversaturated mae-east link.
  • I had similar hopes, which were dashed when I finally played UO on the Origin LAN. It is unkind of me to say, but it ran like a dog. I realized what was wrong after I got the full low-down on the server architecture. It was a poor choice on how to distribute the load.

    Nevertheless, it's still a miracle they finished the product.
  • Gotta love University resnet. I am only getting about 400KBps (3200Mbps) download speeds, but that can be increased by running an SMB server and calling your computer a Master Browswer on the winodws network. Windows computers have an odd tendency to allow network priority to Master Browswers, so my computer often gets s much as twice the speed on the network of my co-students. I have yet to figure out how this works, but I discovered this feature on my high school T1, until IT called and asked me to please cease being master browser on their network, as it was causing errors on their NT server.
  • That's cool, I didn't know the history behind TLG.

    It's my opinion that with the conglomeration of internet service providers into telcos, we'll see more and more of people banding together to find alternate solutions to bandwidth problems, and trying to throw less of their money at telcos.
  • All our connections are SDSL at 1.1Mbps. The cost is under US$175/month ea, including Telco and upstream connection charges.

    The T-1 offered by the coop does not include Telco loop charges, which add another US$300 or so.


  • Here goes: The most common form of DSL, ADSL, can be cranked as high as 7068x1088 kbps, with a range of about 10,000feet in copper-space. Most DSL providers will sell as much as 1088x768 kbps, and do so for about $250/month.
  • The coop's website claims $220/mo for a local loop (but I don't see what city "local" is). Sunnyvale is $350/mo, SF $500/mo.

    The Coop's website [] implies that Sunnyvale is local ($220). The $350 figure is for San Jose. SF is $500.
  • by tekan ( 12825 ) on Thursday October 28, 1999 @04:15PM (#1579307)
    We have tried several DSL providers for Small Business connectivity in San Francisco, all have failed when it comes to honoring their Guarantee of Service agreement.

    PacBell is a mess, InternetConnect is terrible, and where you do find a reputable provider with impressive peering agreements and such they only offer 1.1MBit (Covad) SDSL, not 1.4MBit. The providers that offer 1.4MBit (NorthPoint) SDSL that we have tried have had daily network downtime, with a 22 hour outage just yesterday. This is unacceptable for a business such as a (small) ecommerce site, or mail servers for small businesses where sales people require email every minute of the day or else they go completely insane.

    Affordable T1's are still a good bet for those startups that require stable internet access, at least until they are able to afford collocation or a T3/DS3 connection.

  • You mean people actually want those? They're only ~1.54Mbps raw, folks. Compare this to ~52Mbps over cable (shared) or the ~6Mbps down/~1Mbps up rates of ADSL, and the only attraction of a T1 is that it is usually better supported than an xDSL or Cable modem. But that support usually comes with a nasty price.

    Now, an OC3 or OC12, that's where its at :-). OC3 is 155Mbps, and an OC12 622Mbps. In Wellington, New Zealand, if you live in a central enough area, you can get an OC12 for a mere ~NZ$12,000 connection fee and ~$200/month + traffic... pretty damn cheap. Then you can have bandwidth to your own machine about equivalent to the sum total of all the pipes into the country!

  • I live in Canada, and go to University in Canada. Say what you may, but the government pays post of the University costs, limiting tuition to as _much_ as C$4000/year. I love the fact that the cost of University in the US for one year is the same as the cost of an equivalent university in Canada for your full degree. Gotta love capitalism, eh? Harvard can afford to pay for all its students indefinately, but they choose to charge US$30,000 a year/student because that makes them value it more... I'm glad we only have a one-tiered system here. (/rant)
  • Cable modems only provide the given bandwidth up to a certain point. You've basically got XXX megabits per second up to the first router. After that its shared bandwidth. I'm not sure about DSL.

    Latency also seems to be absolutely horrid on a cable modem especially for incoming traffic. Sure, theoretically there is more bandwidth depending on your provider and how much you pay but you can usually only use a portion of that bandwidth.

    For a lot of people a cable modem is fine, its fine for me, but its nowhere near just as good as a T1.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "The government pays it." Yeah, I'm sure they just wave their magic fairy wands and pull cash out of their butts to subsidize your education, eh?

    Jeez. Socialists.
  • Personally I'm far more impressed with the Citylink stuff in wellington. Local fibre loop all through the center city (Where I live), 10 or 100mbs right onto the loop, your choice of bandwidth providers (Theres at least 10 on the loop now), brilliant speed and great pricing, especially as they'll do deals for residential.

    I believe this is, along with wireless, is the future of real connectivity. Phone lines just don't cut it, and cable, at least in New Zealand, is still too slow (and costly). Being on a localised fibre loop provides huge advantages in terms of cache sharing, ftp services (I can get a copy of the latest debian within moments off a mirror on the loop) and stability (When you have this many people on the same connection, they work damn hard to make sure it never ever goes down).

    My recommendation for those businesses and big users in wellington and soon, auckland, is to drop these stupid, unstable, overpriced ADSL/Cable things and get on Citylink, my experience has been nothing but positive.
  • I guess you don't understand how little bandwidth even heavy users account for. If all users are online at once, and they're heavy users, some stats would show as little as 5% bandwidth per user on average (over time, not instantaneously). Therefore, if you have 1 meg of bandwidth with 20 people, each will probably receive full 1 M/s transfers -WHEN THEY FETCH- because they aren't fetching simultaneously (especially seeing as the fetches finish almost instantaneously).

    Yes, if everyone is downloading the redhat ISO at once, you will notice aggregate speed decreases, but for normal web use, even online gaming, you're not going to notice each other at all. That's the gamble that all ISPs work on. You ALWAYS sell more bandwidth than you have ... because it won't be all used at once.

    - Michael T. Babcock <homepage []>
  • You don't need to be super rich. It helps to be doing IT work professionially. It's just one more business expense...

    I've got a T1 (Frame Relay) at work, and Enhanced DSL at home (5 IP's, 128Kbps up, 1.5Mbps down)
  • Im on my way there, but untill I get more experience and another job other than ISP tech support Im SOL on T1 and SDSL. One year at my current job and they pay for my certifications, all sponsored my MS no less, I believe I'll be getting my Red Hat Cert first off then going for thy Cisco later down the road >:>
  • Living here in Whakatane, our options are few. We can get dialup for decent prices ($35-$40/month), but anything else, forget about it. It would rule to be in the Auckland/Wellington CBD.

    I looked into getting Frame Relay with telecom recently (what is their pet name for it...Jetstream or something?), anyway, for 48-128 (CIR-PIR) and 3 GB/month, it was in excess of $900. (Excluding setup fees, etc).

    Its actually quite interesting, the only reason we even looked at it is because of the 4 cent a minute charge on business calls. That really does add up when your using it 11 hours a day, 5-6 days a week (over $500 a month added to the telephone bill).

    Anyway, we are sticking to dial-up for now, perhaps Frame Relay prices will go down when ADSL gets here (or is that JetStream...ugh). That should be around 2005 if we're lucky ;)

  • True, the BA backbone does suck ... but my friends are hooked up directly to CMU, so it's really really fast to CS department machines and fairly well provisioned all the way out. Plus vBNS etc...

    We don't run servers at home, we run them on the CS department LANs :-).
  • I know it has less range... but isn't it faster and cheaper? Maybe I've been misled by Pacbell...
  • The price sounds a little steep to me, but I bet it is worth it. You could network your computer to your neighbors and charge them to get on the internet to help pay fot it. I wish the little town I live in had something like that. We JUST got cable modems, and it isn't even a full duplex cable modem. The modem only recieves the data, a phone modem sends data. So i guess the price isnt too bad considering the slower alternatives.
  • Is there anything cooler than a T1 to your house?
    yes there is !
    I live in a dorm at the univerity campus and I connect to the internet via a lan.
    we share the 300mbps uplink with +/- 2000 students and I can reach d/l speeds of aprox. 600-1000 Kbyte/s plus we have a 100Mbit between the student's homes.
    and the cost of that, less than $7/month!
  • The $200 does not include Pacific Bell loop costs. As far as I can tell, this is a significant expense, at least hundreds of additional dollars per month. What the pool is providing is aggregation of your personal T1 on to a wider net connection. Can someone chime in with the actual figures for the Pacific Bell portion?

    DSL is a better deal than a T1 because of the way the tariffs are written here in California, I hope they switch to DSL soon. However, I am currently paying $215/month for 768K symmetric DSL, I doubt that with the wire plus the aggregation they can beat that price by much. Still, I'd be glad to use a co-op if it became economicaly viable.



  • There is a pretty wide variety of DSL services available.. (xDSL) basically you can have inbound and outbount bandwidths that are the same or different.. ADSL v. SDSL ( I know there are more variants, but just keeping it simple )..
    which stand for Asymmetric DSL and Symmetric DSL, respectively..

    I've seen SDSL available in up to 1.5 Mbps both up and down-stream.. so go figure.. but I'm not sure of the cost comparison w/ a T1 for $200/mo.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    BITnet was a linear chain of networked hosts. New members had to pay the full costs of the 'net connection to the person feeding them their packets. This meant that only the people at the ends of the chain were actually paying fees to telcos. Once you found the next host to sell a link to, your 'net connection became free. These free running nodes inside the chain had to agree to pass all traffic along the chain. 'Twas a cool idea.
  • There's one out in Boulder, the Colorado Internet Co-op []. Unfortunately, their prices are rather higher.
  • Well you may be paying $7/month, but somebody is probably also paying $10k-$20k per year for you to be there...
  • Don't know about pacbell, but US West was charging about $900/mo for just the circuit on a T1 plus about $1500 setup last time I looked.

  • The loop pricing is based on distance, I believe. The coop's website claims $220/mo for a local loop (but I don't see what city "local" is). Sunnyvale is $350/mo, SF $500/mo. The prices and some info on why they're not offering DSL are here [].
  • by emerson ( 419 ) on Thursday October 28, 1999 @03:34PM (#1579339)
    DSL has many flavors.

    ADSL is for the net.consumer who doesn't need much outbound speed because he's just sending out small HTTP requests, but does want lots of inbound speed to get the requested pr0n faster.

    SDSL is symmetric -- at my house, we have 768K/768K, which is just plenty for fairly quick access in either direction.

    There's also IDSL and a couple other obscure flavors, but "DSL" isn't necessarily slow on the outbound.

  • you forgot to remove that before you posted. Oops.

  • I've been doing the exact thing except with cable for the last 2 years. And before that, my dialup was under my biz account. In fact, I not only write off the cable modem, but I also write off a home office, my vehicle and other goodies. The only caveat about writing off part of your living space is that (1) if you're renting, you're all set, but (2) if you own your own home, then all the money your biz uses to pay "rent" comes back out of your pocket when you sell your home. All the computer equipment, office furniture, anything I can get at the local electronics store, etc. is essentially half off or more because it is with pre-tax dollars. Gotta love it!!!!
  • I had a look at this - still runs to around 400/month with pacbell costs.

    I've been looking at []. It's a shared 10Mb/s radio network in SF. And best of all Free!
  • $215 sure seems like a lot of money! Here in Alberta, Canada ADSL is $50/month ($40 if you get your long distance from the local telco too). This is for speeds of up to 1.5Mbps download and 512kbps upload. And all this is in Canadian dollars too. Is all high speed access expensive in California?

    Disclaimer: I work for said telco.

  • Nah, it's in my Slashdot profile. I'm an anonymous kinda guy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have had a wireless network in town for around 8 months now. I have now have a 4xT1 microwave link to my place of work which has a T3. I provide 2.048Mbps connections to friends for free over the 915MHz (center freq.)WaveLAN cards and 47 element yagi antennas. I basically have full control of each end. My employer thinks it's actually pretty damned cool, especially since we normally have a big surplus in bandwidth. It was really fun to setup, and is about one of the only *practical* projects I've done ;-).
  • DSL traffic with most Baby Bells is carried on the an ATM backbone. When traffic is high, your DSL connection may train down to a lower throughput. Covad and Northpoint use their own networks, so this mitigates this issue.

    A T-1 is a T-1, 1.5Mbps. While a 7MB down is good for surfing. A 700k up is less than half a T-1 on the server side. We only have a moderate site, and peak at 512k several times per day.


  • It's not quite the same thing, but there are not-for-profit ISPs that provide internet access (usually frame relay, or point-to-point T's). I know that there's one in the Chester County, PA area called Chesconet []. It provides at-cost internet access to not-for-profits like schools, libraries, etc. Barebones service (you get a connection, maybe a couple of mail accounts), but for what they sell, there's no beating the prices.

    DISCLAIMER: I'm associated with Chesconet, and therefore not an entirely uninterested party.
  • What city are you in? (Say Ottawa.)
    Right now, all I've seen for high speed internet is Bell Sympatico and Rogers@Home... Roger@Home gets about the same bandwidth as a 56k modem during normal daylight hours, and HSE won't come to my house, even though it is DSL, they won't run it.

    Argh, being rural stinks- so my only option is wireless. My wireless 1200 baud packet connection as VA3CSG just didn't cut it, my 56k connection via the gov't just doesn't cut it..... I want my speed. And soon. ;)

  • Does anyone know of a cheap way to do fast, medium-range (3-20 mile radius), non-line-of-sight wireless networking? Think of the LAN (erm. WAN) parties!
    "I already have all the latest software."
  • The colorado internet co-op has been around for a good long while, and a fair number of ISP's in colorado (most of them If I remember corectly) get their bandwidth from coop. Coop is more of a backbone provider then anything else. Check out
    Colorado internet co-op []
  • Yeah, but that's only for the CBD, isn't it? Not really much good for someone living in Karori (western outskirts of Wellington for those not in the know). And you're right, cable is a little costly (~100$NZ) so Saturn's only got me for the phone, but I like thumbing my nose at Telecom (as both myself and Paradise (ISP) are Saturn customers, none of that 0867 for me:).

    Back to the point, the only problem with Citylink is you can (AFAIK) only get it if you're in central Wellington. Ah well, it'll be a while yet before I attempt downloading any ISOs:).

  • by NatePuri ( 9870 ) on Friday October 29, 1999 @01:21AM (#1579358) Homepage

    At we are building a public co-op style secure network. We will share bandwidth for such services as squid proxies, and IPSec connections. We are a public project so go ahead and join in.

    Ompages' volunteer developers are working on such user specific applications like a secure instant messaging client/server and an easy to use web based anonymous remailer.

    Other more complex projects involve the creation of web based collaboration tools that will serve as the basis for working on code for ompages' goals of a secure public network.

    We need the helpe of people like you all to make our vision a reality. One thing we *really* need is global collocation. If you are interested in ompages and are located outside of the US; we need you to collocate ompages services and/or translate the website into your native language. Thank you.

  • Apparently everyone on the West Coast has T1... Over in Raleigh (RTP, NC) DSL is cheap. $50 from BellSouth. Granted, the BW is not guaranteed, but it's at least as good as ISDN. Compared to the significant cost of a T1 (1.528M bits/sec), DSL seems pretty cost efficient. But a T3 (~45M bits/sec) would be nice...!
  • I don't know why everything thinks DSL is this magical solution that just works everywhere. DSL is nice an all, if you're close enough to the Pac Bell central office. I can only get 144k, and my business partner gets a "whopping" 384k. By comparison, a T1 is essentially 1.5MB, guaranteed.

    With cable, you don't get dedicated line, and static IPs seem pretty rare as well. Sure, you may get 6MB/sec in certain cases, but when your neighbor gets it cable access as well, that rate is going to be halved at peak hours, and then cut down again when the next person gets it, and so on.

    I know one person that has 1.5MB DSL, but seems quite rare. You just have to be in the right place. He also only has 144k upstream. And before you say "I don't serve webpages," remember that Q3 packets go both down and upstream.

    - Scott
    Scott Stevenson
  • But I can barely afford $150 a month for an SDSL. I dont see how any one outside the super rich, could afford a $500+ a month internet connection... What do you need a T1 for anyway? I find it foolish for anyone to need MB/s throughput for anything for that price, unless your running a medium to large business. If you ask me, its a waste of money.
  • All that sounds really great. Until you get audited and the IRS decides to disallow all of those deductions. May not ever happen, but they do that to people sometimes. My tax accountant advised me against trying to do that sort of thing unless I was basically self employed full-time.

  • What issues do you have with Pacbell DSL ?

    I have been using Pacbell DSL since the end of 1997 when they started the trial.
    It's been running great at 384/384 kbps speed ever since, with my OS/2 servers at home. Pacbell no longer offers 384/384 to new customers, but they "grandfathered" the service which means I still get it until I decide to cancel it.

    It's pretty unlikely that I will : it's now october 1999 and the cumulated downtime I have had over the last two years is less than a day.

    BTW, I don't use PBI as my ISP - I use DNAI. In 1997 when I got my Pacbell DSL, PBI was an analog ISP only - you had to choose among 2 or 3 ISPs that partnered with Pacbell for the trial, and DNAI was one of them. DNAI has ended their partnership with Pacbell and now all their new customers must use Covad DSL. But they still provide ISP service to me through Pacbell DSL. Again, pretty unlikely that I'd cancel it given the reliability of the DNAI/Pacbell DSL combination.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday October 29, 1999 @04:54AM (#1579364) Homepage Journal
    Yes, it doesn't do to ignore loop costs.

    However, in a compact area, loop costs aren't going to be too bad because they're distance based (although I wonder where their T3 is located; I bet its a bitch getting across the bay).

    I've been thinking that the way to do this on a _LARGE_ scale would be to use frame relay. Frame relay uses the telco's switching network to transfer data. You pay depending on your maximum data rate and your minimum guaranteed data rate, plus lease costs to the local CO, which is probably no more than a few kilometers away. It creates virtual point to point connections that are actually switched. It's also possible to set up multiple connections from any single point in the frame network to any other point so you could have redundancy and load balancing.

    As with every telephony based technology, its a bitch to get it up running, but it works well, even with 0 CIRs (committed information rates). Unlike DSL of ISDN, frame is available everywhere, and service, while not great, is better than you can get with DSL or ISDN. I know one consultant who claims he can get a frame connection up anyplace in the US and most places in the world in less than three weeks.

    The neat thing about frame is that the absolute geographic size of the network is relatively unimportant, so its really easy to scale. Wouldn't it be cool to create a coop of slashdot readers to buy a huge frame relay network with T1s and fractional T1s with several T3 internet feeds? How much clout would a thousand circuit account carry?
  • Cable modems only provide the given bandwidth up to a certain point. You've basically got XXX megabits per second up to the first router. After that its shared bandwidth. I'm not sure about DSL.

    That is TOO true! I was checking the routers along my path to an FTP site the other day and it turns out that the first router on my @home loops is so overloaded it can barely move between 4pm and midnight!!! They need to do something to alleviate some of that congestion! It's like having a 28.8 modem during those hours! Good thing I do most of my surfing after those hours...>:)

  • for those who *really* need T1, this is a good
    price. for those who mostly download from
    INTERNET, either xDSL or cable modem is more
    appropriate choice and cheaper as well.

  • Ya but was it wellington or auckland that had a SIX WEEK power outage last year?

    Auckland. And it was only Central City, at night.

    I think the Kiwi's had better master banging rocks together before trying to leapfrog into the first world.

    Um, New Zealand is a First World country. Compare that to America as a Second World country.

  • T1 is what, 1.53 megabits per second? So, 1.53 megabit / 8 = 192,000 bytes / 1024 = 187.5 kBytes per second. My cable here delivers around 600-700 kBytes downstream. Upstream is quite another matter. That's typically in the 100kByte range.
    But, you could feed 27 56k modems simultaneously with a T1. Your real bottleneck is the machine your T1 is going to and it's connection. A dozen T1s going full force to a machine with a single T3 might cause some headaches. Another plus with T1 is you can 'legally' run servers on it, and your IP should be static.
    I'm getting dedicated DSL at some point soon, I'll have to see how that stacks up speedwise...
  • I am sorry, but the age of T1s taking over the world is long gone (and hence /.ers pining for them). Cable modems and DSL provide far faster connection speed for much cheaper.

    T3 coop? Hey, I'm there. Or, how about some of that Internet2 bandwidth (>100MB/sec)?? With enough people, I am certain that the price could be around $200 per person...(you'd need about 100 or more people though, but 100 people for a T3 - still damn fast).

  • This is great, I support the use of CO-OPs for this kind of community sharing (I've been involved with my current food CO-OP for almost a decade), but because the phone companies have mopopolies on providing local loop and digital services it's really only viable where you can string your own wire.

    So, I can't imagine a CO-OP like this being viable if the have to go through the local CO in order to get to each member's demark, but for community condominiums and large apartment buildings this kind of technique is a wonderful idea for lowering cost across the board to all members. The point I'm making is that once you start reselling something (even if you're doing it non-profit) that the phone company can do with it's own equipment you are at a serious disadvantage.

    One other possibility: the CO-OP could get a high speed connection in a neighborhood and then resell it via wireless... but that could turn into a regulatory nightmare.

    Finally: If cablemodem companies are serious about providing "local loop" service (even if it's a completely different technology from traditional switched phone networks) then shouldn't they be regulated under the same tarrifs as the standard phone companies? Such an argument could bring demark standardization between the two carriers and foster better competition... and even lower prices -- for individuals and CO-OPs.
  • DSL comes in flavors from 144 kbps all the way up to 1.5 Mbps.. which is about the same as a T1 linespeed.. so it's not like a T1 is gonna be all that slow either.. but DSL is more cost-effective in that it can run over existing POTS infrastructure.. with some minor modifications..

  • by Anonymous Coward
    the isp i use for dialup has 2.4ghz access in some parts of town. speed varies from 1mbps to 3mbps full duplex. and for $50/month (business or residential) (CDN funds) that's not bad. my friend has it and he connects at 2mbps, his speeds are pretty good for downloads. oh, you can also run servers as long as there isn't excessive transfer, so it's not as sticky as cable rules. static ip etc.
  • there's a company here (tucson) selling wireless t1's for around $130 a month for home users. talk about cheap.
  • Few years ago a couple of friends of mine got T1's installed to their houses up here in the Hollywood hills a few years back, and when we all got together one time over drinks and realized that its just a short step away from sharing the load with our friends, we invested in some radio-WAN gear and set up our own bandwidth coop.

    Things have changed now - a couple of guys in the losfeliz net moved to Argentina, and I moved out of range of the radio WAN net we'd set up, but there is still friendly bandwidth sharing going on in this area if you look for it.

  • Well there is one thing you forgot about with *DSL. Most ISPs will not route a subnet to your local wire. Also the terms of service for many ISPs will not allow you to run services on *DSL connects. But having your own IPs and bandwidth to do with as you wish is a really cool feeling. I work for an ISP and have a dedicated ISDN connection with a /27 subnet, its neat :)
  • if Ultima Online will still lag with a T1 connection...kindof an expensive way to find out...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Wasn't this what The Little Garden did on the SF Peninsula years ago? They were later absorbed by Best, but it was originally a bunch of hackers who met at a Chinese Restaurant (called "The Little Garden", hence the name) and said "let's pool our money, lease a T1 and share it!" And that grew into one of the bay area's first commercial ISPs. Now someone's doing it again.
  • Sites of controversy are usually sites of high volume... you'd be surprised at how much a text only pages comes up with... and when you hear about hate web pages on 20/20, not only do they usally say the address, but they say something about the ISP.... so the guys running the pool get their servers swamped by viewers, and they get a bad rap in the process, even though they may have had no prior knowledge of the site.

    Freedom of speech ends at inspried hatred. I would allow people to do this on my servers either.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I serve on the Board of Directors of my student housing coop. We have a 127-unit high rise at the University of Minnesota. We're contracting with a local ISP to put an Ethernet network in the building. Three T1s will connect us to the ISP. The total cost per connection will be under $20/month. While not as good as having your own T1, I think it's a great deal for the price. Chateau Student Housing Cooperative []
  • Issues like loop length and the way the traffic is carried over the backbone can be issues for deploying DSL or Cable. We won't even address the reliability factor.

    Try putting a server shelling out even 256kbps averages and see what the @home folks do. Cable doesn't support up speeds anywhere near the rate of a T-1. DSL tops out at between 1.1Mbps and 1.5Mbps, that is if you meet the loop qual and their aren't a shit load of bridge taps on the circuit.

    T-1s far more flexible, reliable and available than any broadband. Cable isn't even an option for any professional business, and DSL is still limited in many areas and applications.


  • That still get like minimum 150 ms ping in Quake.
  • Yeah exactly. I pay 40 dollars a month for shaw cable access and it's an incredibly good service [at least in my area]. While upload speeds usually top out at 520kbps (65 KB/s), I've seen up to 5.6mbps downlink from a variety of sites (conXion ms update,,, local universities here in toronto, etc).

    I'd say it's worth the 40 dollars CDN. They offer business services which allow you to have 5 static ip's and dns for extra as well (70 dollars extra).
  • ... unless you're out of DSL range, or PacBell just stinks.

    Here in Pittsburgh my friends just got ADSL: $200/month for 7Mb/s downstream, 700Kb/s upstream. It's working very well.

    (Best of all, the CMU CS department subsidy is paying for it all, but that's another story.)
  • Most people who have worked with networks can probably explain why a T1 is better than DSL. One, it's not running over j random telco's oversubscribed, badly managed ATM network which they've hacked together to roll this to market (as the guys at the coop mention on their web page, PacBell's is disintegrating by the day - I should know, I am in fact at the end of a DSL line attached to it).

    For reliability and QOS, you can't beat a 'real' connection. Ever notice your DSL is strangely slow during peak hours? Well, mine is at least. For folks who were getting by with a 56k modem or other dialup-type device, yeah, DSL is an amazing step. I think it's neat for home use in that same way. But if I was doing anything mission critical (ie, trying to run a small business, or contracting from home) I'd want a T1.

    For people used to dealing with real networks, DSL is kind of a nasty kludge that no one has implemented adequately, and can't really replace good reliable network connectivity. It'd be neat if it did, 'cos it is *CHEAP* -- but hey. There is NO such thing as a free lunch.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 1999 @04:05PM (#1579393)
    Note this from their terms conditions of service:

    Here's a list of what you can't do:

    PortScan other networks
    Host porno
    Host pyramid schemes
    Start Fights
    Distribute propoganda
    Kick sand in other's faces
    Host Nazi web sites

    Additions/subtractions to this list are welcome. If you're concerned about hosting something which may cause controversy, let us know. We're cool about it as long as you're not an idiot.

    The paragraph at the bottom greatly mitigates the offensiveness of that list. But I don't see why the legal activities on it should be there at all. They don't cause any problem for the network ("host porno" a possible exception, but consider a private low-volume porn site, or text-only). It seems that their only purpose is to impose some moral code of how the network is used. They of course have the right to choose who they want to do business with, for whatever reason. But do you want to do business with them?
  • by Checkered Daemon ( 20214 ) on Thursday October 28, 1999 @04:07PM (#1579394)
    We did something similar a long time ago, over seven years if I remember correctly. The ISP hadn't been invented yet, and the only Internet connectivity was through the local University or a commercial outfit that wouldn't do residential or anything less than ISDN.

    We ran 25 POTS lines and a 64k ISDN line into a residence. We did our own DNS, routing, etc. and owned all our own equipment, including the co-located stuff. 24/7 connectivity, with each member getting a /28 hunk of a class C. We had 20 members, with over 100 computers hung off the thing, all for about $50/month each. Slow, but we were all masters of our own domains.

    We're still around, but now we're on a T1 providing 128k ISDN for about half of what it would cost from any of our local ISPs.

    So welcome to the world of co-op connectivity, guys! May a thousand co-ops bloom!

    And no, I ain't gonna tell you who we are. We're all too familiar with the /. effect ...

BLISS is ignorance.