This Man Launched a New Internet Service Provider from His Garage | Freethink DIY Science

This Man Launched a New Internet Service Provider from His Garage | Freethink DIY Science


[upbeat instrumental music] Everybody has issues with their internet. Hey, is your guys’ internet working? No!
Nobody’s is! Whether it’s an unnecessary
bundle, data limits, [beeping]
or speed. [whooshing] It’s not working, Gerald. But, it has to work! Maybe if I–
Your internet’s not working, Gerald, face it! [screams] What’s happening? [bells jingling] But, this guy actually
did something about it. My wife came home with the bill and I said there’s gotta be a better way. He built his own internet service company from his garage.
[playful instrumental music] [Garage door opening] This is where all the magic happens. This is–
[laughing] This is Brant and this is his garage. It’s the DIY hub of internet connectivity in Dillon Beach, California. The way I engineered the
service is kind of like an irrigation system. The green lines actually
represent sort of a big, fat virtual pipe that brings
strong internet service to the different areas of the community. Just basically liberating
information to the people. But, Brant wasn’t always
a DIY internet guru. [electronic music] In fact, before building his own ISP, he swore off technology altogether. [funky instrumental music] We came out here six and a half years ago. I was finding what I needed
kind of out on the water and outdoor activities. In hindsight, I think I can look back at, and I call my Luddite phase. Let’s roll.
Come on. Let’s get on board. But I didn’t really know
where it was taking me at the time. All the while, I think my family
was suffering a little bit. They felt pretty isolated out here. He loved that it was away from everything, which was exactly what
was the most challenging for me and Emma. I think it was a good couple of months that we had no internet and
I felt a little resentful. We’re kinda stuck out here
in this isolated place. [whooshing] It became apparent that Emma
would need internet for school. The burden that my daughter
felt for school was heavy. She was bouncing back and forth between staying late at school,
going to the public library, maybe going to Starbucks
when the library closed and she still wasn’t
done with her homework, but it was very slow. Public Wi-Fi is just terrible. The cell phone service was
really our only option, but that proved to be extremely expensive. My wife came home with the bill, $707. [thudding] That was the last straw. There’s gotta be a better way to do this. [thudding] He’s not one to just sit back
just sayin’ there’s nothing that we can do. He will find a solution. [soft piano music] I knew that there was a cell phone tower in our close proximity. I thought maybe that
would be a good direction to start investigating. So, Brant begins searching
for the cell tower. After chasing down utility trucks, he eventually found it and the company that owned the fiber line attached to it. But, he had a problem. No one would return his calls. It was like silence for six months and then one day I got this
call out of the blue saying, now, what is it you’re
trying to do out there? [laughing] I’m like, oh, my gosh! I can’t believe it. I get to talk to somebody. I just want the internet, I don’t wanna play
these games or whatever, just open the pipe up
and let me have access. After months of negotiations, Brant eventually got a fiber
line installed directly into his garage. That really solved my
[laughing] internet problem! Some of my closer neighbors
asked if they could buy in. I was just being bombarded
with people just saying, hey, sign me up, sign me up, sign me up! And, I didn’t even know if I could do it. Hey, Terry, how are you? Good, you remember Clara?
I do, oh, my goodness. I was actually really skeptical about it. I was imagining that the
service would be bad, the speed would be slow,
we’d have problems. So, have you been able to
get out on the water lately? He’s got this great energy about him. [thudding] Not at all afraid of us
pestering him about our service. My partner and I can actually both work from home at the same time, which would never happen
with the other service. To have that choice of something other than the bigger companies that were providing terrible
service has been huge. [upbeat instrumental music] Right here, actually, is the
fiber coming into my garage. My interface to the fiber connection. This head end unit really is the brains for disseminating all the information, which go to the antennaes up on my roof that actually get the signal out there. That’s how we do it. [Gentle wave sounds] I feel like there are no limitations now. Now that we have internet
and it’s fast and it’s good. Emma was ecstatic. She’d just finished her
freshman year at Berkeley. I think she saw it as
him doing this for her. It just, it made her happy. [upbeat instrumental music] So, the spirit of DIY in my
mind is anybody who wants to just take the bull by the horns and get it done themselves. There’s no restrictions,
I mean, you just go. Especially out here,
it’s like the wild west. It’s kinda nice. So, what’s next for you? What’s next for me? I think I wanna learn a
little bit about editing DNA. [uplifting instrumental music]