ISP License in the USA?

William Herrin bill at
Tue May 31 20:16:26 UTC 2016

On Tue, May 31, 2016 at 2:14 PM, Lorell Hathcock <lorell at> wrote:
> Our owner has hired a consultant who insists that we should have an ISP
> license to operate in the United States.  (Like they have in other countries
> like Germany and in Africa where he has extensive personal experience.)


There is generally no license required to be an ISP.

If you wish to own physical infrastructure located in the public right
of ways or use licensed radio frequencies, there are various licensing
and regulatory requirements.

We call those "cable companies," "telcos," "LECs," or "CLECs" even if
they also provide ISP service.

If you lease your long-haul cabling infrastructure (from folks who are
licensed) or implement physical infrastructure only on property you
own or lease, you need not address licensing yourself.

> He is suggesting COALS with which I am completely unfamiliar.

That's if you want to be a cable TV operator (plus Internet). Unless
you're planning to run your own coax on the telephone poles, you don't
need that.

Bill Herrin

William Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
Owner, Dirtside Systems ......... Web: <>

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