This guy wanted faster internet, so he built his own ISP

Senior network architect Jard Mauch wanted faster internet: he asked Comcast, they said it'd cost $50,000... so he built his own damn ISP instead.

Published Aug 11, 2022 9:43 PM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 2 2022 6:46 AM CDT
2 minutes & 24 seconds read time

Jared Mauch is a senior network architect based in Michigan, who after having crappy internet and being told by Comcast it would cost $50,000+ to extend their fiber service to his house, built his own ISP.

This guy wanted faster internet, so he built his own ISP 03 | TweakTown.com

Yes, you read that right: the mad man built his own ISP thanks to $2.6 million in funding from the US government and their Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program. Mauch continued to work at his day job while building his own ISP, where he was a senior network architect at Akamai, while building his own ISP: Washtenaw Fiber Properties LLC, which was home to around 70 customers and will be expanding to around 600 customers in the near future thanks to those recovery funds.

The US government's slice of recovery funds to Washtenaw County was $71 million for infrastructure projects, with the county dedicating a part of those funds for broadband internet. The county has completed a broadband study before the pandemic, where it surveyed unserved locations -- places that didn't have internet connections -- according to Mauch. Once the funds were flowing, the county then issued a request for proposals (RFP) that asked contractors to start connecting fiber to houses "that were known to be unserved or underserved based on the existing survey".

Mauch explained: "They had this gap-filling RFP, and in my own wild stupidity or brilliance, I'm not sure which yet, I bid on the whole project [in my area] and managed to win through that competitive bidding process".

At this point, Mauch's ISP Washtenaw Fiber Properties LLC, has around 14 miles of fiber but has plans to build another 38 miles to complete the government-funded project. Mauch added: "I have at least two homes where I have to build a half-mile to get to one house" which is going to cost "over $30,000 for each of those homes to get served".

As for the cost of internet through his user-created ISP, you're looking at 100Mbps with unlimited data for $55 per month, and 1Gbps with unlimited data for $79 per month. Installation fees are around $199, with Mauch underlining that simple bills with a single line item for internet service is what his ISP provides, with no additional fees.

Better yet, Mauch is also participating in the Federal Communications Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program, where it will subsidise households that meet their income eligibility requirements, with $30 per month subsidies.

Washtenaw County posted a press release last month highlighting the historic moment, when the first Washtenaw County household was connected as a result of the Board of Commissioners historic broadband infrastructure investment. In the press release, Shannon Beeman, Commissioner for District 3 said: "After years of hard work by commissioners, county staff, and the members of the Broadband Task Force, it is extremely exciting to reach this important milestone. There is still work to do to ensure broadband is affordable and accessible for all of our residents, but this is a monumental step".

Jason Maciejewski, Commissioner for District 1, which includes Lima Township added: "I said it when we approved these funds last year and will say it again now: this is a transformational moment for our community. Access to reliable broadband internet has become a necessity to access health care, education, and the economy, so seeing this investment begin to come to fruition should give hope to residents across the county".

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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