Today, over 60% of the U.S. is stuck with a monopoly provider or no option for high speed access.
At Common, we’re rethinking the problem from scratch – using wireless hardware, smart software, and graph-based networking to connect more people at faster speeds.
We believe this technology will radically transform access and connectivity across the country. And we’re passionate about fairness and transparency for the communities we serve: no hidden fees, no caps or slowdowns, no prying or privacy concerns.
Finally bringing innovation into the home
Over the last decade, mobile wireless technology has gotten faster, cheaper, and smaller – but these innovations haven’t impacted how we get online at home. Attempts by large companies to build faster fiber networks have largely been abandoned as too costly and time-consuming. Incumbent ISPs are using the same operations that they always have. The result is unreliable, expensive, bloated internet services.
We're rethinking the entire experience – from hardware and network design to customer experience and marketing. What could it mean to have fast home internet from a provider you trust?
Strong experienced team
Our founders and much of our engineering team come from Square, where we saw the company grow from 20 to 1,500 employees. Prior projects include the Square register, international launches, the developer platform, and the credit card reader hardware devices.
At this early stage, team members are tackling interesting challenges across the board. Recently, we've been focused on reducing the average time per customer install. We started at one month and now it's down to a week. We're doubling the number of customer installs per week consistently, and we're currently at 20-30 customer installs per week.
We operate in a loose agile process. We do a lightweight planning meeting every Monday, daily standups — and that's it. No other standing meetings so that you can spend the vast majority of your time building.
We ship our backend services continually and our router software on a weekly cadence. We use git for version control, phabricator for code reviews, jira for project tracking, and all of the myriad google cloud tooling for managing development operations.
Our routing software helps coordinate everything within our distributed cloud-controlled network – balancing traffic, optimizing signal strength, and detecting problems.
Effectively, each home has a VPN tunnel out to the internet and we're building our own VPN solution from scratch. From a privacy standpoint, we can't monitor the traffic of our customers and we're the only ISP that does this. We think this will be a huge advantage as consumers start caring about privacy a lot more.
And with a local software agent in each home, customer issues can be detected and fixed by neighboring systems. It's a self-diagnosing and self-healing network, which ensures that every customers gets the strongest signal and fastest connection possible.
We're working on brand new routing algorithms for balancing traffic efficiently over a graph-based network — routing around obstructions, classifying wireless link quality, and spreading traffic so that no path gets too congested when the next Game of Thrones episode starts streaming.
We're a full stack company, meaning we build hardware and the software that runs on top — so we spend a lot of time doing board bringup, metrics collection, coordinate firmware / dependency management, and linux kernel / driver hacking to make sure we're getting the most performance with the best economics.
We're also an operator (i.e., we have customers that buy Internet from us), and we're operating one of the largest 5G mm-wave deployments in the U.S. To grow even larger, we're working on all kinds of projects to make our operations more efficient: coordinating technician dispatch, processes to automatically diagnose and fix our physical network, and building robust data pipelines to bring new customer qualification time down from weeks to a matter of seconds.
We're incredibly transparent. We make notes and details from every meeting available to the entire company (from board of directors meetings to daily standups). We practice a fully open compensation policy — everyone knows everyone's salary and equity compensation. Keeping this data public ensures that our compensation is always fair and always matches the market.
We're located at the top floor of the Fox Plaza building at Van Ness and Market in San Francisco. Relaxed vibe, good people, and stunning views across the Bay.
Interested in this company?
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