Re: Shared community internet service
From: Diana Carroll (
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2014 04:38:11 -0700 (PDT)
Hey Alan.  Interesting question and I'm sorry I have little insight to

We certainly had in the mind the possibility of community-wide internet
service when we built our community.  We even considered wiring for it, but
we didn't.  (We do have conduits in place that would make wiring all the
homes to the CH somewhat less painful if we wanted to.)  But when we looked
into getting a T1 or T3 line for the community, it wasn't cost effective
relative to the level of internet service it would provide compared to
individual service so we have never done that.  It makes so much sense,
though, that I often think about it, so I'm interested in what people say.

But I'm also interested in your experience sharing a DSL line amongst
several households.  Was that enough bandwidth?  Do your households make
light of heavy use of the internet?  Like, do you watch Netflix movies,
play internet games and the like?

For quite some time, my family shared our cable internet service with the
the two other homes in our building, and we still share with one other
household, and it works, but I think that's because the other households
were not heavy internet users.  In our house, we are; I have three kids who
watch movies and play games, and my husband and I both work in ways that
are sometimes quite internet-heavy.  Also, we have the top available cable
speed (which is 30M here in our rural area), which is much greater than DSL.

When you say "they don't like our sharing scheme" I think by "they" you
meant the internet service provider, not your members, right?

Our cable provider has never said "boo" about it.  I don't know how they'd
even know.  When we had everyone on the same line, we had a single cable
modem, which feeds to a router which split to two different households, on
which ran collectively five (yes!) wireless/wired subnetworks.  But from
the ISPs perspective, it was just the one modem, and as far as I know they
don't put a limitation on how many devices can attach.  (Which is good.
 Our household alone has 6 computers and innumerable devices like tablets,
printers, iphones, media devices and so on.)  I don't think we're doing
anything against the rules, and they've never given us grief.

We have a cable modem in our common house too, which is on a business plan,
which is necessary so that we can have a static IP address, which we need
because we run our website locally. (Is this getting too technical?  Sorry
if so.)  From there we have several wifi access points that can be used
anywhere in the common house, or from anywhere outside within about 100
feet of the CH, but the signal isn't strong enough to reach into people's
homes, so AFAIK everyone has their own service, though there may be other
households like ours sharing within a building.


On Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 11:07 AM, Alan Goldblatt
<alanbgoldblatt [at]>wrote:

> Hello all,
> This is somewhat related to last month's community wide wifi discussion; we
> here at Cobb Hill have been sharing our wired internet service for the past
> 10 years.  We have two houses that subscribe to DSL and then we pipe it
> around to all the other buildings.  Anyone who wants can plug in a wireless
> router in their house to have wireless.  This has worked fairly well, and
> our provider is now installing fiber for much improved speeds.  Which we
> were initially excited about...
> Unfortunately, they don't like our sharing scheme, and really want each
> house to purchase its own service (of course).  I'm curious what others
> have done about this.  Do you subscribe to a "business" plan that allows
> shared usage?  Make everyone purchase their own service?  Other scenarios?
> Thanks much,
> Alan
> _
> Alan Goldblatt
> Cobb Hill Cohousing
> Hartland, VT
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