Backed by YCombinator to give everyone the chance to take back the internet!
Net neutrality has just expired.
Be the savior the Internet needs and start your own ISP.
Thanks to next generation distribution technology, starting an internet service provider is now within reach of local entrepreneurs.
Necto makes it possible for you to start an ISP without hiring any network engineers.
If you're interested in providing internet access to your tenants or neighbors, we'd like to hear from you.
Apartment / Commercial
Building Owners & Managers
Small ISP Operators
looking to grow
Home Services & General Contractors
If you fit into one of these categories, you are particularly well-positioned to start an ISP.
This is not an exhaustive list. If you have specific skills or experience that will be helpful, let us know in the application!
Do I need to hire a network engineer to manage this?
No. Necto will handle the network engineering for you. If you don’t know networking and radio frequencies, don’t worry about it - that’s our job. You’ll focus on acquiring customers or tapping into sources of potential customers that you have already (like tenants in your buildings).
How much does it cost to get started?
The total startup cost depends on your location and initial deployment plan. We’ll work with you to determine how much investment your network will need during the batch. We’ll ask that you have access to at least $25,000 before starting the network planning process, so you’ll be able to deploy your network during the batch and grow it without needing additional funding.
How much do I charge my customers?
The average price of residential internet access is usually cited around $65 per month per customer in the US (which may or may not include other fees incumbents charge, such as modem rental). This will vary based on your market, so your potential customers will be your best source of data. Online sources will sometimes underestimate prices because the main source of this data is the incumbent providers themselves--they have an incentive to look less expensive and inflate their coverage area. Don’t forget to factor in modem rental and other fees when asking about this.
How profitable is running an ISP?
Running an ISP is a great business. You have highly recurring revenue, low variable & fixed costs, and a low capital expenditure requirement from using next generation distribution gear. The exact numbers will depend on your specific circumstances and unique advantages (access to potential customers, competitive landscape, etc.). We’ll only be taking strong candidate markets in this batch, so fill out the application and we’ll be happy to help figure out whether this is a good fit.
Why would customers use me instead of their current provider?
A lot of customers use the incumbents because there are only 1 or 2 providers in town. With a ton of extra fees and prices that mysteriously increase over time, that often doesn’t leave them with a good impression. If you provide a better product at a fair price, you could be the first one providing them with an alternative. If you think that will be difficult, check out your competitors reviews on Yelp.
How do I tell if my building / area is a good place to start an ISP?
The best people to ask are your potential customers. If you can get in touch with them, ask them how much they pay and whether they would want to switch. We’ll work with you on technical aspects of the area, but a very wide range of locations make good candidates. The most important thing we look for in a market is who will be operating the network and whether they can grow and manage the business.
What does Necto charge?
Necto provides ongoing support, network management, monitoring, troubleshooting assistance, operational management software, and billing. We charge an initial fee during go-live, and provide our products and ongoing distribution growth support in exchange for an initial fixed fee and a percentage of revenue.
Do I need a special license or anything to do this?
No. There is a surprisingly low level of regulation around providing internet--even less now that the net neutrality rules have expired. We’ll work with you to ensure that you are compliant with other regulations.
Is this a non-profit?
No. We believe that the best way to increase broadband access is to improve the competitive landscape for internet. The economics of running an ISP are really great, but new companies haven’t been entering the market as quickly as they could. The two main barriers have historically been cost and know-how. Next generation distribution gear has fixed the cost barrier, and we’re here to fix the know-how barrier.
Market / Community Ties: Knowing your market and neighbors makes you much more likely to be successful. You’ll need to find customers, employees, and property owners to do business with. The more you can rely on your existing network, the easier this process is.
Experience: Having experience managing businesses and people helps a lot. We provide the technical expertise, and can help guide your operations, but it’s your company and you’ll be responsible for its ultimate success.
Capital: Starting an ISP has gotten way cheaper, but there is still some investment required to get started. You’ll need to have access to (or be able to raise within a month of acceptance) at least $25,000 to cover your initial infrastructure hardware, business setup, and startup expenses.
Special Qualifications: Let us know any specific experience you have that will be helpful. For example: building ownership or property management experience, home services / contracting experience, or software/hardware development knowledge.
Submit your application here. Applications will be evaluated as they come in, so apply early and we’ll have more time to review your application and discuss what could make you a great fit. If you’re unsure of whether the timeline will work, or you need more time, just apply anyway and let us know when you’d ideally look to get started.
We’re currently reviewing applications on a rolling basis. We'll reach out with more information within a week or so of receiving your application.
If you’re accepted, we’ll start working with you to draw up a network plan to tackle your market. We’ll cover all the details of what you need and walk you through every step of the process. We’re looking forward to working with you!
Hi, we’re Ben and Adam. We’re the founders of Necto, an ISP servicing the southeastern neighborhoods of San Francisco.
We believe in universal access to the Internet and that the best way to increase quality, affordable access is to increase the level of competition in the Internet Service Provider market.
To truly increase the level of competitiveness in a market as large as Internet Service Providers, we believe the best approach is to dramatically increase the number of new entrants. We plan to do this by arming local entrepreneurs, who don’t necessarily have networking experience, with all the tools and support they’ll need to build a successful ISP.
We’re not just sending you a bunch of networking equipment. Our program includes support software, network engineering, monitoring, training, marketing materials, and operational know-how that you’ll need in order to grow and thrive.
Subscribe to stay tuned!
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