The three core ingredients of modern society are water, power, and the internet. While water and electricity do not receive much attention, access to stable and high-speed internet has not kept pace with the expanding needs of users, particularly those in rural regions. This was the unfortunate circumstance in which Jared Mauch, an Akamai network architect, found himself. Mauch from Michigan, who could not obtain high-speed broadband service at his residence, decided to accept responsibility for this lapse. In response, the United States government is investing in his fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) company.

$2.6 Million Revenue Boost

Jared Mauch is a network architect living in Scio – a county of Michigan. Mauch complained of having poor access to FTTH broadband service offered by internet giants ComCast and AT&T.

To solve this issue, Mauch founded a broadband company called Washtenaw Fiber Properties LLC and extended its high-speed internet service to 30 other rural homes in 2021. However, the new entrepreneur has announced that his FTTH business now powers over 70 homes.

Even more exciting has been his latest investment round. According to a report by Ars, Mauch’s company recently secured a $2.6 million contract with the state of Michigan. The deal is for Mauch to extend his high-speed internet network to about 417 addresses, covering Freedom, Lima, Lodi, and his hometown. However, Mauch says he is aiming higher and targeting about 600 addresses across the four townships.

Attesting to a sudden change in fortune, Mauch noted that the funds were secured from the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

Under the terms of the contract, Mauch’s company is expected to lay an estimated 38 miles of fibre, an upgrade to the current 14 miles of fibre coil on the ground. He is also expected to supply a minimum of 100 Mbps with unlimited data.

Mauch says he charges $55 and $79 for 1Gbps with unlimited monthly data for this service. Also, a one-time installation fee of $199 is billed to all new customers. Mauch says that no extra fees are charged aside from the monthly subscription. In addition, his company could potentially ramp up the internet speed to 4Gbps as traffic increases with time.

Big Tech Doesn’t Equate Great Service

Mauch admitted that starting his own company has been on his mind for half a decade. According to him, his full-time job with Akamai gave him the needed experience, and he felt Comcast’s broadband speed of only 1.5 Mbps was too low to meet the demands of remote areas like Scio and Michigan.

Mauch says the government’s project would enable communities cut out from the rest of the world to connect and reach out.

Before taking the bold step, he tried reaching out to AT&T and Comcast to increase their broadband access to his area, but both said the service would cost about $50,000 in upfront fee to extend the service to his home. A counter-offer of $10,000 was rejected.

Tight Ropes to Work

It has not been a stroll in the park for the Michigan man as he attests to inflation’s growing impact on equipment prices. Commenting on the growing costs of executing the project, Mauch said that a fibre conduit which went for 32 cents a foot previously was now 64 cents. Also, the handholes that enable the laying of the fibre lines in the ground have now more than doubled in price from $300 to $700.

Mauch says that the US government plans to finish the project within the next four years, while he must submit the project’s expenses two years prior. However, Mauch says he is up to the task and has been recruiting contracts to help with the project.

He also says he intends to build half of the 38-mile-long fibre lines by the end of this year and complete the second half by the end of 2023.

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