Man who built ISP instead of paying Comcast $50K expands to hundreds of homes, says Ars Technica

From Ars Technica:

Jared Mauch, the Michigan man who built a fiber-to-the-home Internet provider because he couldn’t get good broadband service from AT&T or Comcast, is expanding with the help of $2.6 million in government money.

When we wrote about Mauch in January 2021, he was providing service to about 30 rural homes including his own with his ISP, Washtenaw Fiber Properties LLC. Mauch now has about 70 customers and will extend his network to nearly 600 more properties with money from the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, he told Ars in a phone interview in mid-July.

The US government allocated Washtenaw County $71 million for a variety of infrastructure projects, and the county devoted a portion to broadband. The county conducted a broadband study before the pandemic to identify unserved locations, Mauch said. When the federal government money became available, the county issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking contractors to wire up addresses “that were known to be unserved or underserved based on the existing survey,” he said.

“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,” he said. Mauch’s ISP is one of four selected by Washtenaw County to wire different areas.

Continue reading Man who built ISP instead of paying Comcast $50K expands to hundreds of homes on Ars Technica

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