BSDCan2009 - Final Release

BSDCan 2009
The Technical BSD Conference

David Maxwell
Day Talks - 1 - 2009-05-08
Room MNT 203
Start time 13:00
Duration 01:00
ID 139
Event type Lecture
Track System Administration
Language used for presentation English

Building a Cable ISP with Open Source Software

This talk is designed to walk someone through the process of undertaking a large project involving open source software. It begins with taking a new job at a cable company as technical lead for their Internet division, and follows through the problem solving and design process of developing the service, deploying it, and serving users.

Open source software was used throughout, from NetBSD for the servers, to Perl and msql for customer service systems, to Expect for linking to legacy billing systems.

The presentation is designed to provide a peek into what's involved in a large-scale project, and the problem solving required on many fronts, technical, institutional, and political, along the way.

While there are references in the material to specific technical problems to be resolved, the content is suitable for a general track, as the details of the challenges are only part of the story.

This is based on my job from Aug 1996 - Aug 1999, at Fundy Communications, where we were the first company in North America to sell cable modems through retail computer stores. I've never presented it in this way before, though I've obviously retold anecdotes many times since then.