Launch your own wireless ISP for $25K, says startup Necto

Fixed wireless report from Arris and CableLabs (Arris and CableLabs)
Fixed wireless services promise to broadcast internet services into nearby homes. (Arris and CableLabs)

A new Silicon Valley startup is selling a service that allows virtually anyone to launch a wireless internet service provider business for $25,000.

“Starting an ISP has gotten way cheaper, but there is still some investment required to get started,” the company notes on its website. “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.”

And Necto said that prospective customers who agree to purchase its services can potentially make a solid entry into the ISP business. “Running an ISP is a great business,” the company added. “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.).”

Business Insider today published an extensive look at Necto, an early stage startup that runs its own fixed wireless service in San Francisco and recently raised a $1.5 million seed investment from the Y Combinator startup program.

"That's the problem we're seeing, there's not enough individual last mile networks delivering broadband to individual homes," Necto co-founder Ben Huang told Business Insider. "Comcast, AT&T, they have all the power because they own the last-mile networks—that last piece between wholesale and the individual is controlled by the large telecom incumbents. We want to increase the infrastructure that can service this last mile network."

The startup promises to handle the network engineering, monitoring, troubleshooting and billing portion of the service, while its customers handle the customer acquisition and marketing element. “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),” the company notes.

Business Insider reported that Necto began accepting candidates for its ISP launch program last month and said it received hundreds of applications. The company said it is targeting building owners and general contractors as potential customers for its service.

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Necto’s fixed wireless internet service in San Francisco offers free installation, $39-per-month services and 50 Mbps services. The company is one of thousands of smaller startups entering the fixed wireless market across the country.