Man gets Rs. 20cr from government for building own broadband!
Jared Mauch from Michigan, USA, has received $2.6 million (Rs. 20 crore) from the US government for building his own broadband after getting slapped with a pricey internet bill. Mauch, who is a resident of a rural area in Michigan, created his own fiber internet service after having to deal with the problem of poor internet connectivity at home. Read on to know more!
Mauch, a senior network architect at Akamai shifted to his current home in 2002. He got a T1 line (a transmission connection between a service provider and client) at a time when 1.5 Mbps was one of the best internet speeds. Despite technological developments, no ISP (internet service provider) installed fiber or cable at his home. He eventually grew tired of slow internet speeds.
Following this, Mauch switched to a wireless ISP that offered 50 Mbps of speed. When he requested internet giant Comcast to extend cable network to his home, the company estimated it would cost him around $50,000 (Rs. 40 lakh). "It was so high at $50,000 that it made me consider if this is worthwhile," he told Daily Star.
According to Mauch, he got DSL (direct subscriber line) from AT&T, the incumbent phone service provider, five years ago. Later, unfortunately, the top speed of AT&T's announced plans for his neighborhood was just 1.5 Mbps which wasn't enough in 2020. AT&T also stopped offering basic DSL to new customers in October and didn't upgrade new substitutes in rural areas, leaving users like Mauch frustrated.
Mauch claimed to have spent around $145,000 (over Rs. 1 crore), out of which he paid $95,000 (Rs. 75 lakh) to the contractor to set up the maximum fiber conduits. His hard work enabled him to start a company, Washtenaw Fiber Properties. A few months back, Mauch started connecting with his first few customers, and since then, he has deployed five kilometers of fiber.
At the beginning of January, Mauch wired 30 homes. Initially, he started the company for his own benefit, but slowly his neighbors began to sign up. Today, around 70 of Mauch's neighbors use the broadband network, and the grant from the government will help him serve another 600 additional homes. Several clients also contributed $5,000 directly to him to help with construction costs.
Customers who helped with construction costs will receive service credits for several years. Mauch said his standard installation costs are $199. Customers can opt for 100 Mbps with unlimited data for $55/month (Rs. 4,300) and 1 Gbps with unlimited data for $79/month (around Rs. 6,300).