Published on Dec 03, 2019
Last update: Dec 13, 2019
Let’s be honest, most people aren’t fans of ISPs and wireless service companies—AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc.
Net neutrality was a hot topic in the news last year, which basically requires that these providers don’t 1) charge websites different amounts to host their product and 2) don’t charge customers different amounts to use various products. This ensures that these companies can’t go to, say, facebook and tell them, you need to pay us or we’ll block facebook from all of our customers. It also prevents them from charging you based on your usage of facebook.
There are two important trends that I think will disrupt these companies.
1) I believe that in 20 years most ISPs will be municipal—internet should be considered a public utility like water. This switch is already taking place. I live in Boulder, CO and we voted last year for the city to start building out municipal broadband. In Longmont, CO just a few miles away, they already have municipal broadband. My mother in law lives there and pays $50/mo for 1GB/s up and down with no data limits.
2) Wireless service will become more decentralized. For many years in rural areas small companies that own a handful of cell towers have supplied wireless service, getting paid by the likes of AT&T and Verizon to service their customers in the area. I think the days of AT&T and Verizon providing cell service are numbered…
Helium is a distributed wireless network. Anyone can become a host in the network and provide wireless internet. When you host a Helium router, you earn Helium tokens. If you want to use the Helium network, you pay with Helium tokens. This is a great example of token economics.
I acknowledge that will take some time before there are enough nodes in the Helium network to offer reliable service. But I do think we will reach the tipping point.
I envision a future where wireless connectivity is completely decentralized through something like Helium routers in cities and suburbs, and individually owned towers in rural areas. Who knows, maybe in a few years Helium will even expand and add a small tower to the set of products you can add to the Helium network.
And once your wireless service hits that decentralized network, I think it will flow mostly through municipal ISPs.
Last night I got my Helium router connected to the network! I’m now helping build the future of wireless connectivity.
As an added benefit, I’m also mining Helium tokens, which could be worth money someday.
If you’re interested in buying a hotspot, you can do so here.
Let’s build a future together where corporations don’t own the network or your data; where they can’t use their scale/age/infrastructure to price gouge while offering a shitty product. This is a better future. This is a future I want to live in.