News Michigan Man Builds Own ISP, Gets $2.6M From Gov To Expand

JarredWaltonGPU

Senior GPU Editor
Editor
Feb 21, 2020
1,293
1,236
4,070
1
I wonder if I can convince my name-brother Jared to come set up a fiber ISP in my neck of the woods? I mean, I have gigabit through my cable provider, TDS, but only 20Mbps upstream and I pay $93 per month. $79 for symmetrical gigabit would be awesome!
 

Giroro

Distinguished
Jan 22, 2015
1,024
388
19,690
13
So how does a micro ISP like this work?
Let's say a proactive land developer decides to run fiber to all the homes in a new suburban neighborhood while they're installing the other utilities. (This is almost universally illegal in the US, but bear with me).
How does that neighborhood bypass the cable monopoly and actually connect to "the internet"
 

ezst036

Reputable
Oct 5, 2018
244
114
4,770
1
Some people whine about ISPs.

Jared did something about it. What a guy! Seems that Comcast isn't the monopolist people say they are.
 
Jun 8, 2022
70
30
70
2
I don't have anything useful or clever to say about this. Just three words: Good for him! And I envy those prices!
This was a cool and uplifting story to read. Thanks, Mark!
 

mikeebb

Distinguished
Nov 2, 2014
117
18
18,595
3
So how does a micro ISP like this work?
Let's say a proactive land developer decides to run fiber to all the homes in a new suburban neighborhood while they're installing the other utilities. (This is almost universally illegal in the US, but bear with me).
How does that neighborhood bypass the cable monopoly and actually connect to "the internet"
The proactive land developer would install more cable/telecom ducts than needed, so there's at least one empty duct. Assuming of course that it's underground utilities, as most modern subdivisions are. The phone and cable people get one of each. The others are available for ISPs to be named later.

If the project is denser than typical suburbia, with a serious HOA (not just an annoying one, but one that actually maintains common property), it might be run more like an apartment complex. That can be good or bad. Bad would be the typical apartment complex that has an exclusive contract (with a kickback, probably) with a single ISP (also supplying cable and landline phone service), which the residents have no choice about using and little choice of plans. Good would be installing fiber from a suitable head end for the whole development, and having the HOA act as the ISP for the development connecting with multiple providers at the head end, or even direct accessing a wholesale provider like L3. In that last case, the HOA might have to set up a separate ISP business (as this guy did) to take care of the regulatory and financial and liability issues.
 

mikeebb

Distinguished
Nov 2, 2014
117
18
18,595
3
Some people whine about ISPs.

Jared did something about it. What a guy! Seems that Comcast isn't the monopolist people say they are.
Of course Comcast is a monopolist. But unregulated monopolies can choose who they serve. If they choose not to serve you, which $50K for a connection is an indication of, you might want to do it yourself.

There's a strong DIY tradition among techies, and while setting up your own ISP is a bit extreme, it's not completely crazy. Getting the right advice and help, as this guy did, is crucial - and being a network architect in Real Life kind of says he knew what he was doing from the start, and had the connections to get the help.
 

Xenophage

Distinguished
Mar 6, 2009
73
3
18,635
0
"Two of the most remote properties in the government contract will each eat up $30,000 of the funding cash, to run the cables and provide service. " So two assholes living out in the boonies bilked the taxpayers for $30,000 so they can have the luxury of having a fiber internet connection in the wilderness.
 

mikeebb

Distinguished
Nov 2, 2014
117
18
18,595
3
"Two of the most remote properties in the government contract will each eat up $30,000 of the funding cash, to run the cables and provide service. " So two assholes living out in the boonies bilked the taxpayers for $30,000 so they can have the luxury of having a fiber internet connection in the wilderness.
Comcast probably quoted those 2 properties (1/2 mile from the road) $100K to run a cable, and if they got the govt money they would bill at least that much for it. So $30K from this small ISP is actually a good deal.
 
We've just begun to roll this out in Ireland. Almost a year now. FTTH, (at least in our case) is run through the electricity cables that provide power to your home. Th engineers will simply bring a Fiber cable from the power line (in my case this was 10ft from the front of my house and underground). They mount some kind of converter internally and externally, and then you have your internet.

Pricewise, it's pretty decent here (for what we get). €35 per month for 500mb+ down, and 50mb up. This is the basic package. The next tier up gives 1gb speeds up and down, for €65 per month (first 6 months) and €75 each month thereafter for remaining 12 months of contract. Ping is amazing at less than 4ms.

Old set up was same price but 70-80mb down, and 20mb up, with 20ms ping. No brainer to switch.

I live in a small rural town, and this is like a dream with the new setup :)
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY