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Competitive Analysis

It is important to note that this proposal is for a neighrborhood-wide co-op Internet project with $9.99/month subscription fee and 100-200 initial subscribers.  As a subscriber, you would have shared ownership in the Wifi network, and thus you have a say on how it is managed, operated, and upgraded - something you would not get with any of the Internet services listed below.

Also, the nature of this proposal is such that it can not be expected to compete dollar-for-dollar with temporary promotional packages from large corporate Internet companies.  These promotional prices do not reflect the prices that all customers of those companie pay, and they are intended only to attract more customers, not build a sustaining funding model as we are seeking to do.
  • $10/mo DSL Internet from Yahoo
    • First, this still requires you have a telephone line, so there is the minimum $30/mo fee for that.  Second, this appears to be a temporary promotional package, i.e. not all Yahoo DSL subscribers can pay $10/mo.  After its merger, AT&T has inherited the St. Louis DSL customers from SBC and Yahoo, so what applies now is the pricing advertised at
  • $15/mo DSL Internet from AT&T
    • As with the Yahoo DSL service, this still requires the $30/mo telephone service.
  • $25/mo Cable Internet from Charter
    • This is also a promotational package.  The $25/mo fee only applies for 6 months, after which Charter may opt to rachet up to normal plan price of $55/mo.
  • $20/mo Service from Cox Internet
    • This is a promotional package, and the normal plan price is $45/mo after 3 months.  Also this requires an existing subscription to Cox Digital Telephone service or either Cox basic or standard cable service.
  • $13/mo DSL from Earthlink
    • As with the other DSL packages offered above, this still required the $30/mo telephone service.  In addition, the $13/mo pricing is promotional, and it would increase to $30/mo after 3 months.
  • Satellite Internet Service
    • Although satellite Internet service can provide very fast download speeds at prices that compete with mid to high-range DSL or cable, the most cost effective plans still require you have a telephone dial-up connection (i.e. $30/mo) to upload anything.  Furthermore, the delay of downloading bytes from a geosynchronous satellite (up to 1 second) makes this service very unappealing for interactive applications like online video games, Skype, and chat.
  • 3G Wireless Broadband
    • This refers to wireless internet service available over cell phones.  As of yet, this sort of cell phone service is not cheap ($60/mo for the plans that let you connect your PC to the phone), and it requires expensive, data-capable phones, e.g. an iPhone or a Blackberry.  It could be that 3G-style cell phones and wireless broadband like White Space devices will merge in next few years to form a unified digital wireless service in this country (like maybe 4G), but at present, Mesh Node WIfi works right now and it's cheap.
  • Network1 Wifi $20/mo Basic Service
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