Will home LANs surrender to big providers?


ERB has found out that big ISPs are able to do the impossible. They are legalizing home LANs without any problems while not a single simple administrator has managed to do it. Only small LANs may remain independent. While housing and communal services are hunting for home LANs, administrators are trying to legalize their networks. Not a single simple person has managed to register a home LAN yet. The administrator who tried to do it says that half a year and loads of documents are needed for the legalization:

Valodzya: “You have to get a permission of the District Executive Committee which is not that easy. And you have to get a permission of the Ministry of Communication first. You have to collect loads of documents for it – the topology and architecture of the network, certified equipment and cables…

They demand that there should be at least two or three employees serving the network (which is already a company) - 1 person per 30 computers. The employees should have technical or higher education. And the certificate should be confirmed by the Ministry of Communication…”

A LAN user from South West District says that their network gives no profit because it exists only for the purpose of cheap Internet:

“We have no user charge and no administrators. The LAN was created by volunteers and nobody is making money on it. If something is wrong it is fixed by those who get left without Internet access. If something has to be bought we buy it”.

Nobody has tried to cut off the cables of this very LAN yet, but the users are already considering the variant of connecting up to “Solo”.

“It has not concerned us yet. But if it does I think we will cooperate with some provider. “Solo” can do it now. I heard that other providers will start doing it too – they will legalize networks and change the equipment to theirs. And of course there will be user charge. However, you can use “Solo”’s Internet as an individual too. But our main benefit is cheap Internet”.

ERB phoned the “Solo” company and found out that everything was official:

“- We construct legal LANs. A person concludes a contract with us and everything is legal.
- So you get the license, the design and all this…
- Yes. We build up a LAN, lay out cables, install equipment, etc. Everything is approved by higher instances: from housing and communal services to Minsk City Executive Committee.
- Is it possible to legalize a LAN by connecting to you if the LAN already exists?
- If a LAN exists there are many variants of its legalization. If the administrator of the illegal network is ready to give it to us, we will look at its design. If everything is okay we will leave about 30% of the network. We will change the rest: cables, equipment, etc.
- They have to pay you for it, right?
- If we are interested in the LAN, and if there are a lot of users ready to connect to us in it we will do it for free. But users will have to pay for connecting to us.
- What are your prices?
- 112 thousands – connecting to a legal network, 10 thousands per month – user charge”.

You should take into account that “Solo” is ready to serve only big LANs with a lot of users. Small LANs will probably draw no attention and remain free. Big LANs will either have to play hide-and-seek or surrender to providers.