[NCLUG] Broadband ISP options in Fort Collins

Bob Proulx bob at proulx.com
Mon Jan 17 15:55:31 MST 2005

Stephen Queen wrote:
> Brian Weaver wrote:
> > You can do the Qwest.net Internet basic for only $10.00 a month. That
> > is of course on top of the $28 a month for the DSL line. Basic means
> > you get an IP address and thats it, no email boxes, web storage, any
> > of that. It was perfect for me, when all the local DSL ISPs I looked
> > at wanted $20-$25/month, and I all care about is that I have an IP
> > address.
> 	I am kinda confused by this. Under this plan what
> exactly does Qwest provide? What do you need to do to get
> email going? What things do you need to do that would have
> been done by an ISP? Actually, I'm not even sure how to ask
> the right questions about this, but am very interested.
> Could you give a more detailed explaination?

Things that an ISP provide are the infrastructure to enable internet
operations.  You get a mail box on their system.  You get DHCP to your
computer with DNS name resolution.  PPP.  You get spam filtering on
email.  You get web pages upon which you can place content.  You get a
firewall to protect you from the hostile 'net.  Many things.  I am
probably missing a few and have added a few that some don't enable.

If you only have an IP address then you get none of the above.  You
only get a cord to the Internet.  That by itself is insufficient for
the above.  But the long time Internet user can provide their own
infrastructure.  GNU/Linux and *BSD are both platforms of choice for
the small operator.  Run a DNS master.  Find someone on a different
network to be your DNS slave.  Register with the top level .com (or
other) nameservers.  Set up your own MX records for mail.  Set up your
own mail transfer agent to receive mail.  Set up your own spam and
virus filtering to process the mail.  Set up your own web server for
publishing web content.  Attach to public NTP servers for time.  Try
to save the world, one internet packet at a time.

In effect, you are complete master for your domain.  However that also
means debugging all problems yourself.  No one to escalate the problem
to as you are the senior admin and tech support, chief cook and bottle
washer.  Note my DSL problems for an example.  But you learn much and
gain much experience.  You are only a good candidate for this if you
can't be talked out of it regardless of the problems.


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