The man who built his own ISP to avoid huge fees is expanding his service

Faced with the choice of settling for pathetically slow internet speeds from AT&T or paying Comcast $50,000 to expand into his rural home, Michigan resident Jared Mauch chose option “C”: starting his own fiber optic business -Internet Service Provider. Now he’s expanding his service from around 70 customers to almost 600 thanks to the funding aimed at expanding access to broadband internet. Ars Technica has called.

Last year, the US government’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provided Michigan’s Washtenaw County with $71 million for infrastructure projects, a portion of which was for broadband deployment. Mauch then won a tender for the wiring of households “that are known to be unsupplied or undersupplied [an] existing survey,” the RFP says.

“They had this patchy RFP, and in my own wild stupidity or brilliance, I’m not sure which yet, I bid for the entire project [in my area] and managed to survive this competitive bidding process,” he said ass.

He now needs to expand from 14 to about 52 miles of fiber to complete the project, including at least some homes that require half a mile of fiber for a single home. That costs $30,000 for each of these homes, but his installation fees are typically $199.

Customers can choose between 100Mbps up/down internet speeds for $55 per month or 1Gbps with unlimited data for $79 per month. The deal has to be completed by 2026, but it aims to be ready by around the end of 2023. He has already connected some of the required addresses and issued a press release after the first connected in June, with a local commissioner calling it “a transformational moment for our community.”

Running an ISP isn’t even Mauch’s job, since he usually works as a network architect at Akamai. Still, its service has become a must-have in the region, and it even offers fiber backhaul for a major wireless carrier. “I’m definitely a lot better known to all my neighbors … I get saved on people’s cell phones as ‘fiber optic guy,'” he said. Check out the full story Ars Technica.

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