Using existing infratstructure to bypass ISPs?

In the past there have been discussions regarding ISPs and their stranglehold over consumers, especially in areas where only one company is allowed to provide high speed copper/fiber internet.This got me thinking: what would it take for end users to completely bypass their local ISP while still using existing infrastructure?

Could someone design and create a modem that operates on a new protocol?

Could we build an end user software platform that ignores ISP servers?

What exactly would it take to cut out the 'middle man' that no one wants to deal with?

Forgive me if I am just completely stupid and not understanding how internet works.

The absolute best thing for us to do is to convince the Federal Government that the ISPs need to be broken up. that they engage in  anti competitive practices and that it is in the best interest  of the country and of the politicians next campaign to allow the free market to correct these problems trough competition causing prices to fall and quality to improve. If we were replace the internet w/o changing policy first we run the risk of falling into the same or new unforeseen traps. It isnt the internet that is broken. ( in the terms of this discussion ) but the ISPs and the regulators.



As far as a cable ISP, you CANNOT do anything like that because of their infrastructure.  The copper from your house runs back to a mainline that is copper, then that runs into a "node", which sends/receives the signal in the local cable head-end over fiber.  In there, it is run to a router that handles the local modems assigning the IP addresses and routing the traffic.  From the head-end, it runs through fiber (often through a series of MORE head-ends on the way) to the companies walled garden.  This walled garden is what tells their network what modems are allowed to access the internet (by means of mac address), handles the dhcp (if you haven't assigned a different private DHCP service), routing of the networks, and other things, and connects the whole network to the internet backbone through a T1 provider.  This pretty much guarantees you cannot use the infrastructure in place to do what you are asking. (there are a couple of ILLEGAL ways to do some cloning of modems and such to use the ISPs service if you have a connection, but we won't discuss those here).  As far as something like DSL, if you can find a different provider, you CAN run someone elses service over your phone lines, because back when the FCC was doing their jobs properly, they made it so the telephone lines were accessible to all providers. This is a whole different issue, and the FCC needs to do something to stop all of the bull*** that the current ISPs are pulling.  The people who CAN do something about this AREN'T, because they really don't care, and will do/vote as the companies who are lining their pockets tell them to, not what is best for the people.  The only thing you can do is help in the fight against these companies and the FCC, write and bug your congress critter, the FCC, and try to get more people and your local governments in the fight as well.

All properly government regulated as well and it has worked for about what... 8 years. If that was in the us it would of been dead now i feel sorry for you guys. I feel lucky that the UK opted public funded transmission of TV by radio waves otherwise we might of gone the other way with corrupt cable companies.