-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 We are doing something similar. La Cañada Wireless Association (www.lcwireless.net), located in rural NM, S/SE of Santa Fe. Terrain here seemed pretty flat when we started but seems to have gotten real up and down since :). We have about 150 members paying $40 per month with 3 megabits upstream in 2 locations. Coverage is about 400 square miles or so.
We started about 3.5 years ago with about 16 members. We first needed enough people to fund the $900 per month needed for a T-1 at $60 per month each. We had some loaned equipment (Wave) for AP's. Our startup costs were in the neighborhood of $8000-12000, since paid back to the funders. People buy their own CPE. Installation by volunteers. Support by volunteers. We've had a steep learning curve, plus some infrastructure problems which I think we've beaten into submission. We have found that some people prefer us, even though DSL (as of late) and Comcast are alternatives for some. One person even funded a solar-power access point (we have 3 so far) so he could flush Starband (the coop's paid him back for that). For others, we are the only link to the world. They're off the grid, have spotty cell coverage and no landline phone. But they've got high-speed internet. Those are the people that make me happy to have started this. We're still waiting for the IRS on our 501(c)12 application, but our lawyer was OK with our model. We do our own bookkeeping (volunteer elected treasurer, countersigned checks, so far no problems). We are also willing to function as an umbrella for other local groups, although that hasn't happened (yet). Another option is money through USDA, but that probably takes a heckuva long time. Your model sounds eminently reasonable and doable. I'd say go for it. You're in the business, know your costs for field support, equipment, etc. which removes a lot of the uncertainty from things. Bob Pete Davis wrote: > There is a town (Yorktown, TX) with about 1200 people in it, about > 15 miles away from our main pop in our county. We have not pursued > a backhaul to there, or putting out a POP. We are very busy putting > subs on our existing POPs and maintaining them.We have been > offered roof rights in down town in trade for free internet. The > town is poorer than average (way more mobile homes than frame/brick > homes, more people than average on welfare, etc) The town is > smaller than average, and there aren't many businesses in the town. > > > Nonetheless, we do get at least a new call a week from the 20 or so > people in town interested in broadband. There is no competition, > EXCEPT dsl in the 2 mile circle right in the middle of downtown > (not within most of the population) > > What we were thinking is this: Let us create a wireless cooperative > and let the 20 potential subs buy shares for $500 each. The $10k > will buy them a wireless backhaul (to my main tower), an AP tower, > and an AP, 20 (coop owned) CPE, and enough manpower for us to > deploy. The $40/mo (x1.5 for business customers) that they each pay > will go toward buy bandwidth from us, pay for the manpower needed > to deal with service calls, etc. Any profits left at the end of the > year (over a capital equipment fund) get split with the coop > members in the form of a dividend check, and maybe a barbeque. > Maybe the non-coop member subscriber rate could be $49.00 (x1.5 for > business) and they would still pay a $200 setup fee. Coop members > wouldn't need to be subscribers, and subscribers wouldn't need to > be coop members. A part time bookeeper would be needed to keep > everything straight, although we could just keep those records with > our books, but they should be audited anually. > > The Dewitt County Producers Coop is a feed store that sells feed, > ranch supplies, baby chicks, baby fish (for stock tanks), tractor > tires and parts, and other farm-ey stuff. Members and non-members > can buy there, though members get an annual dividend based on their > purchases (2% or something). Its a large operation, but DeWitt > County is like the 4th largest beef cattle producing county in > Texas (the largest beef cattle producing state). They have been > very successful, in spite of having competition, and I think a > wireless internet deployment could be financially modeled the same > way. Its not that I don't want to get the profits for myself, but > the return on a $10k (or $20k) deployment could be several years in > a market that small. > > Anyone else doing anything like this? Pete Davis NoDial.net -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.1 (GNU/Linux) Comment: Using GnuPG with Thunderbird - http://enigmail.mozdev.org iD8DBQFDtrWO09OzCOxY0TcRArQzAJ0TlHHAlXvgzVM+FHhFckSy6EIiKwCcCQoA jRK34HEk97BAS5akbs8FFZY= =Sm5x -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
begin:vcard fn:Bob Knight n:Knight;Bob email;internet:[EMAIL PROTECTED] tel;work:505.667.4300 tel;home:505.466.4548 tel;cell:505.310.8409 version:2.1 end:vcard
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