American dissatisfied with his Internet provider decided to compete with him

Deepak Gupta August 13, 2022
Updated 2022/08/13 at 3:48 PM

It is not by chance that many speak of the “American dream”. Nobody knows for sure what it is, but in fact the USA is a country where almost anything is possible. In this particular case, a Michigan citizen, dissatisfied with his operator’s internet service, decided to create an internet supply service himself. Today he competes with operators but … his success is beyond imagination.

Jared Mauch built a fiber internet service because he didn’t have good broadband service from AT&T or Comcast. Now, instead of just having his neighbors as customers, he has a network of over 70 homes and will soon reach 600.

Internet: In rural and interior areas, nobody wants to invest

The pandemic has brought a new reality where work can be done from home without a loss of productivity. However, it was this measure that showed many weaknesses of the internet service that everyone has at home and also in companies. After the pandemic, many of these habits seem to have creased and we will continue to need a fast computer and a good internet connection.

If in the most urban areas today there is already this quality of services provided by the most varied communications operators, in the interior and in rural areas the reality is quite different.

Mauch, network architect at Akamai, is well aware of this situation, according to Ars Technica. Man has lived for two decades in Scio Township, a small town in Michigan, USA. In 2002, it contracted a cable connection that was the fastest at the time (in the area), offering 1.5 Mbps. However, over time Jared needed something quick and chose to switch to a wireless provider that offered 50 Mbps, although he would have preferred a physical connection.

If you don't like the communications operator... compete against him

At the time and given the area where he lived, the man didn't have much choice. He then tried to contact the American telecommunications giant, Comcast. Jared asked the company if there was a chance that his location (more specifically his residence) would receive a fiber optic network for fast service, as he needed. Comcast said it was possible, but it came at a cost. He would have to pay a special one-time fee for this to happen, as the company had to create infrastructure to bring the network to him.

When asked the value, the answer was not very encouraging, the value was around 50,000 dollars. So, 6 years ago, this would have been the amount to pay, but Jared Mauch thought it was too much.

He had also turned to AT&T, another large operator in that country, but the connection speed offered was only 1.5 Mbps. Faced with this scenario, the man began to seriously consider buying a direct connection to a provider of this type of service, but more dedicated to large companies in Michigan, Advanced Communications & Data (ACD).

Of course, the price was very high, even more so because ACD did not have a fiber optic network deployed in the countryside. However, what was a problem quickly became an opportunity.

It was then that Mauch had the idea to hire this supplier and build his own network. So, in addition to serving yourself, you could sell connections to your neighbors to recoup your investment and even make a profit. However, this meant, quite simply, creating your own ISP (Internet Server Provider) service. As usual, this involved a lot of legal and administrative bureaucracy.

From dream to reality... and there will be fast internet for many people in rural areas

The idea went ahead and the American, increasingly dissatisfied with Comcast, AT&T (as well as the other suppliers also contacted) decided to get to work. Basically it elaborated all the necessary and legal process, and, after some time, it became technically a competitor of these companies in the area.

Jared Mauch founded Washtenaw Fiber Properties LLC to comply with local government legal requirements. He began to develop his own fiber optic network across the length and breadth of the area where, as mentioned above, he has lived for twenty years.

After an investment of $145,000, Mauch's ISP added 30 customers in 2021, and now has more than 70. The cost of service is $65 per month for symmetrical 50 Mbps, $75 for 250 Mbps and $99 for 500 Mbps . In all cases, $599 is required for installation, although the original installation price was $199.

Currently, as we have seen, these residents in remote areas have started to rely on other technologies, such as the Starlink service. Thus, the inhabitants of Scio Township can now make this option, despite the fact that the performance of the SpaceX company is inferior and more expensive.

As is known, the Starlink network offers connections of about 150 Mbps for a monthly fee of 99 dollars and an installation kit of 499 dollars.

Currently, the American's plans take on an unimaginable dimension. The City Council, thanks to federal funds, is financing part of the expansion from Washtenaw Fiber Properties LLC. In doing so, the company will expand its service to 417 locations, including neighboring rural areas, opening the door to potential new customers.

With this support, Mauch will be able (and must, as required by a contract it signed with the State), offer a symmetric connection of 100 Mbps for 55 dollars a month and 1 Gbps for 79 dollars a month. In addition, the price of the installation will return to its origins, that is, it will be 199 dollars.

The man says that despite the success of his project, he will not give up his other job and will continue to be an Akamai network architect, albeit now with a better internet connection.

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