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Thread: Legalities of charging for wireless access

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Legalities of charging for wireless access

    This is a strange question perhaps but was wondering if anyone knew the Legalities of doing your own wireless hotspot. I currently use a 6 Meg dsl and live in a apartment building and noticed when i opened up my router for test purposes i had alot of people jumping on the band wagon for the wireless. I am a small business owner for computer repair and run a online pc part store so i have a legal business license but was wondering if it would be legal to charge lets say per month for people to use my router ? And is there any good programs that will lets say redirect them to a web page when they try to access my wireless and tell them that it will cost so much a month for wireless access etc. then i could use like Mac address filtering to let them on.
    Any help would be great.
    Was thinking about using a ap like
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    i am having problems finding info on it still.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    I wouldn't begin to think about commenting on the legalities, but I will point out that the connection is in your name. You also have to consider if you are violating your ISPs terms of use by reselling the connection.

    As for a setup. It sounds like you want to checkout m0n0wall. It includes a captive portal (website that individuals have to log into to access the internet). Your other option is a system like NetReg. Both of these are free and will provide a system that adds a Mac address entry for the username / password provided. NetReg may be trickier to setup without spending a bit of money (since it relies on DNS redirection).. m0n0wall may be your easiest bet, since everything is incorporated into the single box.

    Just make your captive portal message, an email address and say people can pay you via means X, Y and Z. You manually create their account and that's all there is to it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    I investigated the possibility of setting up a hotspot a while ago and it looked like it was going to be a nightmare, even if I could have made the necessary arrangements with my ISP. I know there are providers which major organisations like Starbucks and McDonalds use for their wireless access but I don't know how big you have to be before they'd consider answering your enquiries!

    Good luck. If your experience is relatively painfree, I might just look at it again. Can you feedback your progress please?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Springfield, MO area
    Most ISPs would be willing to work with you, no matter how large you are, as long as you could show that you could pay the bill.

    I work with a guy that has a large pipe coming into his house from the phone company. He has worked a deal with them to allow him to split that with neighbors, for a fee to the neighbors using this.

    He has 4 or 5 houses around him using that pipe, and his out of pocket expense is around 250$ a month after they've paid him. They're willing to do it, because he doesn't limit the bandwidth they have for uploads and downloads. If its open, they can get it.

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