When Jared Mauch couldn't get good broadband service from any internet companies, he built his own fiber-to-the-home internet provider. During the pandemic, many homes where Mauch lives in rural Michigan were stranded without internet, because large providers charged exorbitant fees to install networks in the sparsely populated area. The local government put out a call for proposals seeking contractors to install an internet network for addresses that were "unserved or underserved". "In my own wild stupidity or brilliance, I'm not sure which yet, I bid on the whole project [in my area] and managed to win through that competitive bidding process," Mauch told Ars Technica. Mauch's network now has about 14 miles of fiber internet cables installed, with another 38 miles to go -- creating capacity to serve up to 596 residences. Unlike many large internet service providers, his bills are simple, containing a single line item for internet service and no extra fees. All of this is only Mauch's side project; by day, he works as a network architect. In finding a way to serve others, Mausch notes, "The world around me has gotten a lot smaller, I've gotten to know a lot more people."

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