Necto (YC W18) – ISP Starter Kit

Hey, we're Ben and Adam, the founders of Necto ( We're enabling local entrepreneurs to start their own Internet Service Providers by providing network engineering, monitoring, and business support as a service. We've seen huge improvements in last mile distribution technology in the last few years (cost, reliability, thoroughput, ease of deployment), but it hasn't translated into an explosion of ISP operators. We want to change that by allowing non-network-engineers to deploy their own networks and compete with the incumbents. Necto handles the networking setup, deals with the backbone providers, helps with distribution planning, and provides ongoing monitoring and support. The operators pick the markets, set the prices, and provide a great overall experience to their customers.

We started our own ISP here in the underserved San Francisco markets of Bayview and Portola, with more neighborhoods to come. If you live in SF, we'd love to be your ISP ( If you're interested in starting an ISP, we're looking for an initial batch of 5 operators. You can learn more about that here: .

Our product is a combination of a few important requirements for running an ISP effectively: a centralized Network Operations Center (NOC), a Operational Support System (OSS) to manage the subscribers and get visibility into issues, and an Operator's Handbook that covers the how-to's of running an ISP (both technically and our advice on the business side). Our NOC will handle things like BGP, routing, reachability, hardware issues, upstream connectivity, and distribution provisioning. The OSS supports managing subscribers, diagnosing common issues, and performing installations. Our handbook provides a list Standard Operating Procedures for day-to-day management of the ISP and, in combination with our community of ISP operators, strategies on how to effectively launch and grow an ISP.

We charge an initial setup fee and an ongoing percentage of revenue. The initial setup fee covers us designing your initial network, sourcing your backbone connection, and the cost of the core routing stack. The ongoing percentage of revenue aligns our incentives with our operators and covers monitoring, the NOC, and ongoing enhancements for the software and community. The exact numbers depend on the scale of the network the operators are building.

We're staunch supporters of Net Neutrality and increasing broadband penetration without sacrificing privacy. We don't sell personal information or throttle traffic (and our operators won't either). We believe that the future is in highly localized ISPs competing on service quality. We're excited to tackle this problem because we've had to deal with poor internet service before, and we now know that you can make a great business out of providing better quality access. Our backgrounds are in enterprise automation technology and the home services industry (air conditioning, plumbing, electric). We're happy to answer as many questions about any of this as we can! If you're at all considering starting an ISP in your neighborhood after reading this, let us know at and include your HN username!

Thanks, Ben & Adam

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andrey azimov by Andrey Azimov