[Linux-aus] My life as a wireless ISP, your comments please

Leon Brooks leon-la at cyberknights.com.au
Wed Feb 4 22:29:38 EST 2009

I may be setting up wireless (802.11-based) Internet
access for a small WA country town.

For now, I plan to do it by enabling an 8/1 megabit
ADSL1 link (the only connectivity available except
dialup), using encrypted 802.11n to talk with customer
sites (TP-Link router-to-router should be at least
100 megabit, maybe as much as 300 megabits) then PPP
from the client machine to authenticate & to set up
a micro-VPN for access.

Comment on other links (e.g. what would a "real" ISP
use to connect a DSLAM to the rest of their network?)
is most welcome.

I am guessing that wireless will be able to reach
further than ADSL1 (direct LoS rather than wiggly
wires), will reach to customers with no landline
(e.g. semi-transient workers), will be simple to
install (14dB directional antenna under eaves or
inside non-metal roof, power-over-ethernet router
talking 100baseT to the client machine(s)), will
offer the ability to talk (via TP-Link PCMCIA card)
directly with a laptop in strong-signal areas.

I plan to transproxy HTTP & HTTPS connections, plus
do local DNS, to speed up the response & to reduce
bandwidth useage.

I plan to offer the ability to chat directly with the
proxy for greater control (e.g. manual reloads).

I plan to offer (via rsync) a document backup service
so that when a customer workstation kills a hard drive
or lands a virus, I can hand them back their documents
on DVDs or an external hard drive.

I plan to offer a local-storage email service to reduce
traffic from POP/IMAP polls or webmail access, & to
be able to offer antiSpam.

I plan to investigate the reasonability of direct
(high-gain Yagi) wireless links to other nearby towns
possessing no DSLAM at all in their exchange (or
whose audio lines are all driven via pair-gain or the

Any comment welcome.

Cheers; Leon

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