In the tech industry, we have all grown to fear “lock-in.” Lock-in is a situation in which you have no choice but to pay a certain provider for some aspect of your computer services. Since computers are so fundamental to our lives, we sometimes have no choice but to pay the provider of that lock-in service.
Think of a few service providers in your life who have no serious competition. What is your relationship to that service provider? Do you feel like you are paying too much money? Do you wish that you could switch?
This is how many people feel about their Internet service provider. An Internet Service Provider is the company that provides you with the “last mile” of physical infrastructure that connects you to the rest of the Internet. Different forms of ISP include cable ISPs, satellite ISPs, fiber ISPs, and copper/DSL ISPs. The medium of delivery varies, but the functionality is the same. This company is crucial to your Internet access.
In many geographic locations, there are very restricted options for which ISP you could use. Why is that? Many people assume that there is some physical or regulatory barrier to starting an ISP. In fact, there are fewer barriers than you might think.
Adam Montgomery is a co-founder of Necto, a company that provides an ISP starter kit. If you want to start your own ISP in an apartment building or in your neighborhood or wherever you are, the Necto ISP starter kit can help you get off the ground. That might sound like a crazy idea, but in this episode Adam explains why it is not so crazy–why the technology around ISPs is more broadly accessible than many people believe.
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