Covering Cost Ideas, Lets Figure out how to help these guys out!

Here at we love the idea of a free and open internet with free access to all. We also applaud all the efforts of the Outernet team. We would like to offer our services in anyway we can. With that said here is some food for thought.

Outernet seems very possible. The idea of free internet is nothing new in the United States. Unfortunately the last breakthrough in free internet was Netzero’s 4G which allowed an individual to browse up to 200MB for free a month. In previous years Juno and Netzero both had free options for accelerated dial-up for up to 10 hours of browsing with ads.

I feel that something similar would be possible with satellite internet. If you have proprietary software such as a browser or for the sake of argument a Android app you would be able to show Ads and sell Ad space to help cover the cost. As far as speed goes when it comes to free internet you can’t be to greedy. 768 kbit/s is currently the US FCC minimum requirement to be considered broadband.

This is just to get the ball rolling. Anyone else have any other ideas on how these guys can cover cost or make money to keep it going?

Hello! I would love to contribute to the brainstorming session on this thread but I need a little more info. Is Outernet a 501c3 or incorporated business? How much do they need to raise to reach the current goal or sustain themselves and for how long?

Outernet is a privately held business. We operate a free-to-receive data service (similar to tv and radio) which generates revenue through sales of hardware and sponsored data delivery. The current goal is to deploy at least 1000 receivers in August.

I’m all for Outernet making money but I think the last thing I’d want is for advertisers to get their greedy little paws in this. One of the pros advanced by Outernet is that it’s anonymous and free. Somehow I doubt it would remain either for long if third party advertisers got their foot in the door. Advertisers would want all sorts of statistics on their target audience in exchange for paying Outernet for ad space. This is what ruined Google for me. I only use my gmail accounts now to direct spam to from whatever I sign up for online.

In addition, advertisers are known for selling and revealing through unintentional data leaks people’s private data. If that ever happened in a nation with strong censorship penalties people could get killed.

A big No to Outernet selling ad space from me.

I prefer the idea of Outernet selling premium features directly to users such as Twitter feed uploads.

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Buy some hardware from the shop, send them money, build a DIY receiver and test software releases… all helpful stuff…

Ideally, if people started buying the gear or paying to have something meaningful published, Outernet would not need to even consider advertising (we still aren’t). For this to happen you can either:

a) buy the gear / pay for publishing
b) help with ideas on what could make (a) happen

For instance, what would you like to have on the device for it to be useful on day-to-day basis (without Internet)?

I think everyone would like to see updating content like daily news. That would make Outernet more of a live experience rather than a static one. But I think it has already been said that Outernet would provide news.

I imagine some people would want weather and sports scores. Political and science news, etc. It’s endless really. Anything that someone would want daily updates on so they can follow on a day-to-day basis.

Of course, some daily content would be added free by users but someone might have a special request that could be monetized.

But I might have misunderstood how such things would work.

If you meant pay to have your own content published, that’s an obvious revenue option.

I might have missed it, but are software updates going to be sent OTA?

We all have our guesses about what ‘everyone else’ would like to see, but that won’t make us use it. :smile: So what would you personally like to see in there? Is there some piece of data that you would really like to see on day-to-day basis or something you absolutely must have when there’s, say, Internet outage?

For Ligthhouse, that is already the case. You might have noticed a file called outernet-rx-X.000.pkg at some point if you were looking at download progress in the dashboard. That’s signed firmware update for Lighthouse.

ORx is more of a testbed for experimenting, so I decided to keep it manual. We actually ran into an issue where the updated image for ORx wouldn’t even fit the partition where images are stored, so we need to iron out such things before we can consider OTA update. Also, ORx does not work on Pi2, so that also needs to be addressed before we can do OTA updates.

Daily updating news would be the most important.

What kind of news do you normally follow?

World and national.

I have been thinking long and hard about what services I would like through Outernet, if i had no access to the internet.

I just can’t think of anything that would work with the broadcast only technology or wouldn’t be a huge admin burden on the Outernet team.

If there was some way to scrape the BBC website, and send it OTA and view it in a web browser, that would be useful, but i doubt it’s practically, in both licencing and bandwidth.

I’m worried that by trying to become something for everyone, the project will move away from its core principles. The outernet isn’t for me, it’s for the O3B!

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One way might be for Outernet to insert a “signature” at the end of every file showing users multiple ways to contribute monetarily to support Outernet.

That is not a bad idea.

Thanks for your feedback on this point. We share similar opinions, though there may be a few edge cases where users in high-income markets will be find utility in Outernet, but we don’t know what those use cases are just yet.

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Then let me run this one by you:

a second Outernet Library just for ads.

Short textual ad pitches would be contextually linked to the signature of a data file.

And if the textual pitch in the signature sparked a readers interest, they could choose to download the ad to see what else it had to say, or the full pitch, just like you would click through a video or banner ad.

Ads could of course be targeted to specific content for specific regions where any locals viewing the ad on Outernet could buy the product in their area.

This way you could have a whole library just for storing ads in exchange for advertiser money.

Also, you could sell signature space to government’s conducting official programs aimed at educating their public on an issue. Or space for local and national election campaigns.

No Ads! Please!

What about oil rigs?

I’m not too keen on ads either but it’s a way Outernet could make money and I specifically relegated the ads to be limited to a text signature at the bottom of a data file. The full ads could reside in a completely different Outernet library reserved exclusively for ads. After seeing the text ad (no pictures allowed) in a signature, the user could decide whether they want to download and view the whole ad.

One reason ads are not such a good fit for Outernet is, advertisers usually want numbers on how many people they are able to reach or even how many people they are reaching. Some may even ask for estimated demographics. Not having such information would significantly drop the price of ad space, so it may actually not be a worthwhile source of income.

Many advertisers nowadays are spoiled by things like web analytics. Just like most consumers cannot understand the signifcance of having a low-bandwidth one-way global service, I suspect most advertisers would not understand that we would be having a hard time getting their numbers due to the nature of the service.