wet-behind-the-ears whippersnapper seeking advice on building a nationwide network

Charles N Wyble charles at knownelement.com
Fri Sep 16 19:45:33 UTC 2011

Wow this turned into a very long post....

On 09/16/2011 01:10 PM, hasserw at hushmail.com wrote:
> No one replied with any useful information. I guess no one wants
> competition on this list? Pretty poor tactic.
> On Sat, 10 Sep 2011 21:55:01 -0400 hasserw at hushmail.com wrote:

Mr hasserw at husmail.com, the net is big enough for many forms of networks 
and competition to exist. The fact that you write from a hushmail 
address is intriguing to me. That may have kept others from answering 

Using ones real name/personal e-mail address builds a reputation. It 
also helps if you've posted other threads in the past. Looking over my 
post history (both replies and  threads i started), one will see a 
progression of learning and participation. I don't recall seeing any 
posts from you in the past. As such, it may not have been wise to burst 
onto the scene and say "please to do my homework for me".  Contributing 
to a few threads, starting a couple of your own (on a more specific 
subject) and saying "this is what I'm planning to do, here is what I've 
researched, please tell me if I'm doing it horribly wrong" is a good way 
to start in any community.

I had high hopes for the thread you had started, but am disappointed by 
the somewhat juvenile response that you sent. I believe you killed off 
the opportunity for some excellent discussion. So I'm starting another 
one, in the event people are ignoring the previous thread. Plus my title 
is cooler!

I did learn some things from that thread (such as nsrc.org). Thank you 
for posting those links and inspiring the title of this thread Bill.

In my case, I have knowledge (through consuming way too much *NOG lists 
and other resources). However all of my experience is in data 
center/enterprise LAN networking. WAN experience is limited to default 
BGP route delivery or statically configured links. So I have never built 
an ISP network before.  I want to join the community, and as such am 
seeking advice before I blindly go off and end up being one of "those" 
AS. :)

Here is what I am doing and how I plan to go about doing it. Feedback 
most welcome. Please be critical but polite. :)

The previous thread mentioned business plan. That's absolutely critical. 
Competing on delivering the Internet is foolish at this point in the 
game. I'm giving net access away for free, and making money off of hyper 
localized advertising). I'm also using existing co location facilities 
and networks.

Looking over my linked in profile will demonstrate my existing expertise 
on the business and tech side of both online and hyper local 
advertising, and large scale, distributed server operations.  However 
I'm currently not experienced on the network build out side. I figured 
the only way to get the level of experience I want, is to build a 
service provider network.

I'm in the process of building out a backbone network across the United 
States. Starting off small  (3 points of presence: 600 West 7th st Los 
Angeles, 60 hudson NYC , 324 E 11th KC MO). In two cases I'm leveraging 
existing relationships with strong WAN engineers who will be receiving 
some equity in my startup, in one I'm a new customer off the street and 
doing everything myself other then the basic colo services (net drop, 
power, cooling, security, smart hands).

This backbone network will be used to terminate regional wireless 
networks. The wireless networks are being funded by the communities that 
the network serves through direct donations and by hyper localized 
advertising sales.

So here we go with technical nuts/bolts of the plan (as bill so 
eloquently put it):
"I am going to presume OSS and fully depricated kit to keep your costs 
down and to boost your learning skills."

Something like that.

1) Obtain ASN from ARIN (using LOA from existing upstream relationships).

2) Obtain ipv6 space from ARIN (inquired about getting space and ran 
into some issues. need to speak with my co founder and get details. 
evidently getting brand new v6 space for a brand new network is fairly 
difficult. for now may just announce a /48 from he.net. ) Yes I did come 
up with a sub netting plan for the entire United States out of a single 
/48. It's quite ingenious really. More details on request if anyone 
wants them.

3) Announce prefixes from initial point of presence locations for 
availability / traffic engineering reasons. Using a mix of Quagga on 
Linux virtual machiens, pfSense on dell servers and Cisco gear.

So more or less the steps that Bill mentioned in his response. It was 
somewhat tongue in cheek, but also quite accurate.  I'm bootstrapping 
with personal funds / gear at the moment. However I believe it can be 
"done right". I also have a fair amount of gear I've been obtaining over 
the past few years with the specific intent of building an ISP. The 
business plan has evolved over time. It's now at a rather mature point, 
and it's time to get my hands dirty.

Whew. Sorry for the long post. Hopefully folks will read it. :)

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