Free Internet? Internet access isn’t free to give away, someone has to pay for the resources needed. The main components include hardware, bandwidth, technical help and a point of presence to provide and maintain the service.

None of that is free to the provider. That said, practically anyone can become an ISP, serving a handful of neighbors or even a small town. BTW, this is also making the assumption that you are able to buy business or SLA based bandwidth that you can re-sell since you cannot re-sell consumer services.

A small ISP could be started on a budget using second hand, readily available hardware from sites like eBay and others. Of course, as the customer base grows, so do the costs and lots of decision making in terms of costs vs growth/customer base, etc etc. That, is for another post.

Here is a short article about net neutrality and why private broadband initiatives are not only possible but should be encouraged.