We can relate.


Senior network architect Jared Mauch finally had enough last year when Comcast told him it would cost $50,000 to extend its network to his rural abode in Michigan.

Furious, Mauch took matters into his own hands and started his own rural internet service provider.

It was a long shot. But by May of this year, he had signed a $2.6 million contract with the federal government that allowed him to greatly expand the venture, Ars Technica reports.

Mauch's saga is part of a much larger grassroots effort to bring internet to the most underserved areas of the country, filling in for much larger companies that have historically left large swathes of the nation out in the cold.

Rural Server

As of right now, Mauch's network covers around 14 miles of fiber. The new funding injection will allow him to stretch that by another 38 miles in the local Washtenaw County.

According to a press release, over 3,000 households in the area will be connected thanks to the new government funds.

"I have at least two homes where I have to build a half-mile to get to one house," Mauch told Ars in an interview, adding that it'd cost him roughly $30,000 "for each of those homes to get served."

Mauch Madness

That may not be too far off from the $50,000 Comcast quoted Mauch. But mainstream ISPs were only offering him 1.5 megabits a second to his home.

Mauch's service costs roughly $55 a month for 100 megabits down — more than respectable for rural service — and $79 for gigabit internet, both with unlimited data.

The Federal Communications Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program could further subsidize those costs by $30 a month for eligible households.

All told, it's a hopeful tale that demonstrates the power of taking things into your hands.

"I'm definitely a lot more well-known by all my neighbors," Mauch told Ars, "I'm saved in people's cell phones as 'fiber cable guy.'"

READ MORE: Man who built ISP instead of paying Comcast $50K expands to hundreds of homes [Ars Technica]

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