The bomb burst on January 10. KPN announced that they wanted to continue with a brand, so Xs4all had to disappear. The protest came immediately; In the reactions of our first article, anger and disappointment were immediately felt within the first few hours. There was also a lot of dissatisfaction and criticism outside this site, which led to a committee of measures aimed at retaining Xs4all, or at least something similar to Xs4all.
Plan A had retained Xs4all, for example by convincing KPN to cancel the plan for abolition or take over of Xs4all itself. The committee has lost confidence that this will still be possible, even though there is still a legal case against the Corporate Council against KPN. So now plan B is put into operation: start a supplier yourself as Xs4all: Freedom Internet. Crowdfunding went well, partly because it was a loan with a promised interest rate of three percent. Within one day, the target of EUR 1
Starting a supplier
"We also want to start fast; in the first months we want to connect the first customers to 2020. This is only possible in this way" But how do you do that by starting your own supplier in 2019? "You can't just sit in a loft with a few people and then start," said Anco Scholte ter Horst, CEO of Freedom Internet. "It requires a lot more. There are many rules now; we had to coordinate issues with the ACM and we had to choose how we would offer the Internet."
Ironically, Freedom Internet couldn't get around KPN. "You have copper, fiber and cable. Copper is only owned by KPN, fiber is owned by KPN and other, mostly local, parties, and cable are, of course, largely Ziggo. If you turn to Ziggo you will get & # 39; no & # 39; also so dsl and glass remained. "
But how do you proceed? Access to KPN's fixed network is possible in two ways: via wholesale broadband access or via virtual unallocated local access . WBA is cheaper and you buy bandwidth as a virtual provider on KPN. With the second option you are practically in wardrobes and therefore have more internal control as a supplier. On the other hand, it costs more. Scholte ter Horst recently talked to Randal Peelen, CEO of the internet provider Tweak, in order to organize the filling on KPN, in a section of the Met Nerds Om Tafel podcast. Freedom does not currently have that money and wba is not available.
The only other option is access through a partner company that already has a wba agreement, says Scholte ter Horst. "We also want to start fast; in the first months of 2020 we want to connect the first customers. This is only possible in this way." Scholte ter Horst keeps secret with which company Freedom cooperates. "We want to say it later." In the long run, Freedom prefers to be network independent. "We don't really charge the cable in advance, maybe we can supply the internet separately from Ziggo TV." Freedom needs its own stuff, of course, servers and for that it works with Bit Internet. The domain name Freedom.nl is on loan from Bits of Freedom. And of course, core ruts are needed. "All of our Internet traffic goes through these core routers. That means we can offer features we want." These include things like ipv6 and dns-over-https. "Suppliers don't offer this by default and we want it, so we need our own equipment."
Not everything is there from the beginning. What's the most important thing missing? "I don't think we have pair bonding at the beginning. That's why the speeds of dsl are lower than we would like. We are working on that, but I don't think we will achieve it."
These central routers are one of the reasons why Freedom cannot yet directly connect customers. "Of course, there is delivery time and if we have them, we still have to hang them on the network and configure them. It's not something you do in a day."
for customers: an AVM FritzBox. "Delivery time will not be the problem," believes Scholte ter Horst. "We can get them on time. Of course, we need to have techniques that can help people with the installation and we first have to train these people as well."
There is still a big investment there and one of the reasons why crowdfunding was needed: recruiting people. In addition to engineers, people are also needed for customer service. "We want to give them the tools to really help people, without having to be transferred first. We have to create those tools and we have to teach people how to use them. So we will do that in the coming period." But if a first-class customer service representative can do it all, doesn't he spend a lot of time on simple jobs, like letting people turn on and turn off the modem? "True, but it's a choice we want to make this way."
"We want to be below the price of Xs4all now and around or even below the price of packages from KPN and Ziggo" Another point is ipv4 addresses. They run out. "We can still buy them, but we need money for it." Customers get ipv6 by default, but a provider still needs ipv4 addresses in 2019.
According to Scholte ter Horst, the greatest risk to Freedom, now that crowdfunding has succeeded, is a large number of potential customers. "We have made some estimates, but if we are far above it we cannot do that. We should work with queues and we do not want it."
Freedom will belong to the Apple Pie Foundation, a foundation that aims to keep freedom on the right track. The right course lies in the values of freedom, integrity and quality. This must be demonstrated through, among other things, minimal logging and storage of data, use of encryption and VPN. The company also wants to be transparent towards customers and members. It also does not want to pay more for a faster connection.
Of course, one important element is the price of subscriptions. All these services, customer service and starting a supplier are not free. "We want to be below the price of Xs4all now and around or even below the price of packages from KPN and Ziggo." Exact prices must be announced later.
Meanwhile, crowdfunding has succeeded and now the question is how many customers Freedom can get and join. The amount was accumulated remarkably quickly, but due to the high average amount, in the end several thousand people gave money. If everyone can and wants to become a customer, this is a good start, but for break-even about 25,000 customers are needed in a few years.
features in Xs4all. The question is how big this gap will be, but those looking for such a supplier have at least one other alternative with freedom that would otherwise disappear with the loss of Xs4all.