Los Altos Hills homeowners create their own network for faster internet service

A group of Los Altos homeowners, tired of their local internet provider, took matters into their own hands and built their own fiber optic network. They now get speeds of up to 10Gbps, which is faster than what any other major internet provider offers.

Scott Vanderlip says Comcast wanted $17,000 to install the fiber optic cable he would need for faster internet service, but he refused to pay it. Instead, he set up a cost-sharing co-op with his neighbors and found another company to provide the service.

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“We’re in Silicon Valley, Los Altos Hills. People are still using point-to-point satellites or microwaves. And they have to live with the internet that never got to them,” Vanderlip said.

Since April 2019, Los Altos Hills Community Fiber has been offering high-speed internet service to its 45 subscribers through Next Level Networks. Now, they can upload and download large files faster, and they have one of the fastest residential speeds in the country.

“So, this is a pilot project and Next Level has started pitching it to us. They’ve already launched several other community owned and operated fiber optic cages in Woodside…in the Santa Cruz Mountains…San Jose with HOAs and everything else,” he said.

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Next Level Networks, a fiber internet provider, was founded by Darrell Gentry. He says a community-owned broadband internet service is the wave of the future.

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“We charge a modest fee to operate the network on their behalf, and we are optionally the ISP…optional because it is in fact an open access architecture…multiple ISPs can coexist and compete for fiber infrastructure. It doesn’t have to be that way,” Nobles said. .

Currently, the service in Los Altos Hills is about $155 per month, and the price drops as more people sign up to share the operational costs. Installation costs can range from $2,000 to $13,000 per home.

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“We don’t want people to think that’s the example, or that’s what it would look like. We want this to go to mid-tier communities, affordable communities… That’s our mission, to improve broadband and make sure there is For Next Level Networks.

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Next Level Networks says it is also in talks with an out-of-state agency to provide this service for low-income housing units that the agency already builds and owns.


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