Starting a greenfield carrier backbone network that can scale to national and international service. What would you do?

charles at charles at
Fri Apr 4 14:29:52 UTC 2014

On 2014-04-04 09:08, Mark Radabaugh wrote:
> On 4/3/14, 4:52 PM, charles at wrote:
>> Hello everyone,
>> It's been some time since I've been subscribed/replied/posted here (or 
>> on WISPA for that matter). I've been pretty busy running a non profit 
>> startup (protip: don't do that. It's really really terrible) :) I'm 
>> cofounder and CTO of the Free Networking Foundation. Our goal is to 
>> bring broadband (5 mbps symmetric to start) bandwidth to the 2/3 of 
>> Americans who currently can't get it (rural, urban core, undeserved, 
>> "$ILEC stops on otherside of street" etc).
>> Please feel free to visit us at for more 
>> information.
> I'm equally confused.   Last mile is much more of a problem than
> backbone.

Quite true. This is why we've started there, and it's been our primary 
focus. We have more work to do of course. However efforts are promising 
and ongoing.

  I run a (for a WISP) mid size end user network.  Raw
> bandwidth cost is <8% of our expenses.

Nice. That's not horrible. You have an AS/ip space? Or buying blended?

   Last mile delivery and
> transport around our own network is the expensive part.

Yes. It certainly is. Gear, end user support, truck rolls etc.

> Nearly all of the action in new last mile networks is wireless or
> small provider FTTx deployments.   I would look at what WISPA
> ( is doing,

Yes. I'm quite connected with the WISPA folks, especially the 

as well at the FTTH council
> (

Wasn't familiar with them. Thanks!

  to see what is being done in last mile.   The
> FCC and Agriculture departments is also heavily involved in rural and
> last mile deployments and is (depending on your view) either funding
> these deployments, distorting the markets by discouraging private
> investment, or wasting lots of money.

Yeah. I've been keeping an eye on that. We've helped several network 
builds happen via grants. Usually from local economic development 

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