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WISP Freeware/OpenSource?


hsncorrosion
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I'm planning on starting a wisp as my first business (in a few years, once I have the funds)

I'm looking for some free software that will let me manage billing/bandwidth/etc on a windows pc. This way I can experament with it and learn my way around this type of software. I do plan to get a license from the FCC in order to broadcast at a higher frequency.

Do you know of any software I could try?

Not that I dont want to use linux, I just dont have a spare box atm. I plan to test some software on my laptop and desktop pc's just to experiment.

So it has to run on windows.. I have found some paid software I WILL purchase once the time comes.

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Your really not going to learn anything with that set up. You need a RADIUS server, a web sever and an AP or wireless card (that supports master mode) at the minimum. At this point as it's not a business you could set up Paypal as a means of receiving payment. I would not run Windows on any of the equipment that way you can use a P3 box (very cheap) and say Debian or OpenBSD and keep everything free and secure.

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Indeed, didn't think of that.

I would get this setup and working and a packaged product (prehaps have someone develop the software for you) then try and market it to hotels and business centre's

If the price is right then there is probally a market for smaller establishments

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You also need to think about contention, if you have 50 people using your service at once then you'll need to ensure that they can all get a minimum speed. So you will need to block things like p2p.

Yes, this was my first concern.

If they use bit torrent, limewire, and other such programs or download illegal content slower speeds or the connection being shutoff on my end would be very bad.

Cost is another very very BIG issue, the cost would be very substantial I'm thinking 100,000.00 bare minimum to run 100 miles not counting eclectic fees and just guessing about the cost of an fcc license Cost could be more or less.

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Yes, this was my first concern.

If they use bit torrent, limewire, and other such programs or download illegal content slower speeds or the connection being shutoff on my end would be very bad.

Cost is another very very BIG issue, the cost would be very substantial I'm thinking 100,000.00 bare minimum to run 100 miles not counting eclectic fees and just guessing about the cost of an fcc license Cost could be more or less.

No, a bigger problem than the legality of p2p is managing the traffic. If your an ISP you count as a common carrier, which means the end user is responsible for what they download, and your not responsible for what passes through your network. You just have to comply with any court orders your handed (and possibly illegal DHS requests). The problem stems from traffic management, p2p protocols like bittorrent just eat bandwidth, as do things like streaming video. Without QoS and CPE equipment limits your going to face horrible traffic management problems and complaints from your customers. If you don't address these basic issues your going to fail. You need to learn a hell of a lot more about the technical side of this and at the same time develop a more solid business plan.

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I do understand this. The reason I'm even looking into this now is because I know I need to learn more before doing it. I may go ahead and run one in my home simply to learn, I just need an old box to mess with. I also understand that this is a big idea and will take time not to mention someone else could possible do the same thing before me. But you can never start too soon :)

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Some solid idea's floating around in here.

Firstly if your saving for x years its not really worth doing - who knows where computers will be in 4 years? Light Processors FTW anyone?

It's a good idea to set it up and trial it in your home and possibly sell some cheeky bandwidth to your neighbours

There is a big legal issue with what you are doing - your basically a 1 man ISP, are there laws / rules on reselling your broadband (similar to subletting?) This idea works for you as  a cafe owner etc, I don't think it works on the kind of scale your talking about - even if you went to market with it now, and I think you would get found out very quickly with 10 people using your service, in order to offer any kind of real speed you'll be needing a fat pipe and there not cheap.

I mentioned another possible idea that allows you to use this as a business - which is boxing it up and selling it to cafes, restraunts, hotels etc.

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Some solid idea's floating around in here.

Firstly if your saving for x years its not really worth doing - who knows where computers will be in 4 years? Light Processors FTW anyone?

It's a good idea to set it up and trial it in your home and possibly sell some cheeky bandwidth to your neighbours

There is a big legal issue with what you are doing - your basically a 1 man ISP, are there laws / rules on reselling your broadband (similar to subletting?) This idea works for you as  a cafe owner etc, I don't think it works on the kind of scale your talking about - even if you went to market with it now, and I think you would get found out very quickly with 10 people using your service, in order to offer any kind of real speed you'll be needing a fat pipe and there not cheap.

I mentioned another possible idea that allows you to use this as a business - which is boxing it up and selling it to cafes, restraunts, hotels etc.

this is a better idea and more maintainable create a set up sell it out and when it goes down they'll call you, and you can charge for service calls

or even better EMERGENCY SERVICE CALLS

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There are a number of ways you could profit from reselling this stuff.

1. Initial hardware

- Possible PC / Server

- Access Points

- Routers

2. Service Contracts

- Firstly for the kit you supply

- Secondly the software

- Thirdly for the whole package

3. DSL

- Become a Reseller and offer discount

Plugged into the Contract side of things, you could always lease your solution to business so rather than an upfront fee they can spread the cost over the year, pro's and con's to both approaches.

Good luck with what ever you do

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You may want to look at a different band.  900 MHz is very susceptible to getting stepped on by old cordless phones.  If you're near an airport that's another problem.  Who are your customers going to be?

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