Michigan Man Creates His Own Internet Provider

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Jared Mauch received a government grant to expand his burgeoning service.

Back in 2021, Jared Mauch, a local of Washtenaw County, Michigan, launched his very own internet service provider, Washtenaw Fiber Properties LLC. Mauch launched this service after becoming fed up with the less-than-stellar connections from the only other network options, Comcast and AT&T, and after he got it going, he offered connection to the other members of his community. Mauch has grown his operation to about 70 customers, and with a government grant, he plans to expand to at least 600 more.

As part of the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, $71 million was allocated to Washtenaw County, a portion of which was set aside for broadband internet projects. According to Mauch, the county decided to use this money to serve broadband customers “that were known to be unserved or underserved based on the existing survey,” as he explained in an interview with Ars Technica.

“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,” Mauch said.

Mauch’s internet costs $55 a month, providing 100Mbps connection speeds with unlimited data. Customers can also upgrade to 1Gbps for $79 a month. Since launching his network, Mauch has become much closer to both his neighbors and his community.

“I’m definitely a lot more well-known by all my neighbors… I’m saved in people’s cell phones as ‘fiber cable guy,'” he said. “The world around me has gotten a lot smaller, I’ve gotten to know a lot more people.”

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