Man Who Built ISP Instead of Paying Comcast $50K Expands to Hundreds of Homes

by contentwriter

Author: David King

Jared Mauch had enough when Comcast informed him that extending their network to his isolated Michigan home would take $50k. Mauch founded his rural internet service provider out of rage and self-determination. 

The chances were slim. However, by May of this year, he had agreed to a $2.6 million deal with the government, according to Ars Technica, allowing him to grow the business significantly.

By January 2021, Mauch’s ISP was offering service to around 30 rural residences, including his own. 

With funding from the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, Mauch will expand his network to almost 600 additional residences.

Mauch’s story is a part of a much broader grassroots initiative to provide internet access to the most remote parts of the country. He is taking the place of much larger corporations that have historically neglected to serve the vast swaths of the country.


$55/Month for 100Mbps with Unlimited Data

The agreement between Mauch and the state, signed in May 2022, calls for him to expand his network to around 417 addresses in the Freedom, Lima, Lodi, and Scio townships. Mauch resides in Scio, a city close to Ann Arbor.

Although the contract only calls for service at 417 locations, Mauch noted that his new fiber routes would pass 596 potential clients. He remarked, “I’m developing past some addresses supported by other [grant] programs, but I’ll probably be the first mover in developing those places.

According to the agreement, Mauch will offer 1Gbps with unlimited bandwidth for $79 per month and 100Mbps symmetrical Internet for $55 per month. Mauch claimed that his installation cost is $199. Unlike many larger ISPs, Mauch offers straightforward bills with just one line for Internet service and no additional charges.

In addition, Mauch pledged to take part in the Affordable Connectivity Program of the Federal Communications Commission, which offers $30 monthly subsidies to homes that satisfy the necessary income eligibility standards.

According to the contract, all project costs must be paid for by the end of 2024 and finished by 2026. Mauch, though, has a far more aggressive schedule in mind. He told Ars that his objective is to create half of it by the end of this year and the other half by the end of 2023. $2,618,958.03 will be allocated for the completion of the project.


Comcast Requested $50K, but AT&T only Provided 1.5Mbps

Mauch still works as a network architect for Akamai. Therefore running an ISP is not his primary occupation. After being unable to obtain current service from any leading ISPs, he began planning to create his network around five years ago.

At his residence, AT&T only provides DSL with download speeds of up to 1.5Mbps. He claimed that Comcast had informed him that it would cost $50,000 to extend their cable network to his home and that if they had only asked for $10,000, he would have chosen them. 

Even though most of the neighborhood already has Comcast service, Comcast still charges those upfront costs for line extensions when consumers are outside its network area.

Before converting to his fiber network, Mauch utilized a 50Mbps fixed wireless service. Mauch further stated that in addition to serving other people, he also offers a church with Comcast service issues free 250Mbps service. According to Mauch, he additionally provides fiber backhaul to a few cell towers for a significant mobile carrier.


Rural Server

Mauch’s network currently spans about 14 miles of fiber. He can extend that in the nearby Washtenaw County by an additional 38 miles, thanks to the fresh money infusion. 

Over 3,000 homes in the region will be connected due to the other government funding.

Mauch has at least two residences where he will construct a half-mile to get to one house. He added that it would cost him around $30k for each of those homes to get supplied.


That might not differ significantly from the $50,000 Comcast told Mauch. However, he could only get 1.5 megabits per second to his residence from the major ISPs. For more than fair prices for rural service, Mauch’s service offers 100 megabits down for around $55 per month and gigabit internet for $79 per month, both with unlimited usage.

For qualified homes, the Affordable Connectivity Program of the Federal Communications Commission may provide an additional $30 monthly subsidy.


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