Getting Fiber to My Town by Jared Mauch

I believe this belongs here:

Getting Fiber to My Town by Jared Mauch (YouTube video of NLnog presentation) (slides for presentation) (discussion on Hacker News with Jared participating) (project homepage)

I find this an interesting description of how to apply skills that we normally only use at work to solve connectivity issues at home. Quite timely too, as home connectivity is needed more than ever.

- location: just outside of Ann Arbor
- no fixed broadband since 2002 -> build own network
- pre-wire neighbors with fiber drops and feed them off WISP first
- lots of work to sign up customers, having to resort to snailmail to reach all
- 70% of homes passed signed up
- Have ASN, get IPv6 and IPv4 allocation, multihome and connect to local IXP
- purchase equipment: fusion splicer, OTDR, materials, directional drill(!)
- hire contractors, deal with all manner of problems, theft, stop work orders, unbudgeted costs, unmarked/badly marked utilities, hitting (own) utilities
- build own fiber blower(!) for blowing in fiber in ducts
- splice, OTDR, resplice, schedule installs ... which don't always go to plan
- Upstream very helpful, offered a Cisco 6500 as CPE, however respectfuly declined and went with Arista
- Link up! Network is now live with 17 subscribers hooked up. More waiting to be connected
- Mixed Active Ethernet and GPON
- latency drops from 30 ms to 8 ms, bandwidth from 20-30M to 730M, total commit 1.5G on 10G port, plans from 50M to 500M
- SPAM! IPv4 brokers and the usual unsolicited contacts from bottom of the baller IP transit providers
- Costs: $126k in 2020, $95k contractors, $32k materials and equipment. Total outlay ~$150k + years of sweat equity. Important to spread out costs over longer period of time to be able to afford. Offset costs by using pre-pay model (Can pay $5,000 up-front and receive $50 credit for 100 months)

All in all it was an excellent presentation. I only wish Jared had spent some more time on how he had to become a telco and how this got him better access to the public right of way. Of course, some more details on his directional boring and some nice video of him running the drill would have been a cherry on top :slight_smile:

I'd like to congratulate Jared on lighting up his network and wish him success in running it. I did a similar build almost twenty years ago and regret I didn't have the forethought to document the effort better then. Not that there was a YouTube to put it all on then :slight_smile:

You can find the other presentations from NLnog live September 2020 at

Jared, not the Mauch one

As my kids are in the other room on 4x zooms at once, the prior connection could not have survived the load with them and me working as well.

I’m working with the PC on giving another version of this talk (I want to provide more financial details) for an upcoming meeting.

Stay tuned to the NANOG Agenda :slight_smile:

- Jared

Another Jared with a question. What method did you use to blow the fiber through the conduit? You mentioned you had trouble figuring out the process relating to lubrication and building a contraption to blow the fiber.

~Jared Geiger

You need the conduit lube. The duraline summer blowing lube worked well for me.

- Jared

I believe this is the stuff we used on our project:

I’ve heard people call cable lube elephant snot, lol.

I recall using that a couple decades ago, helping an electrician pull some circuits through our old office building. I had to put that stuff on the wires as he pulled them from the other end. “Just imagine you are jerking off an elephant” is how he told me to do it.

I really don’t know how you guys jerk off an elephant but normally you just empty it out of the bucket…

The pulling lube does not work well IMO, the blowing lube made a huge difference.

- Jared

Yep, years ago, the telephone comms guys in the Marine Corps taught me (I was a data pc/network guy) the name “Snot”


When I read up about it, yes, pulling lube and blowing lube are different and you’ll get different results. Microduct blowing lube is yet another difference.

Quite different. This is what we've used on Microduct
"Penn-Lube 9702A is a water based thixotropic lubricant which
reduces friction during installation of cable and sub-duct...
Containing high viscosity silicone polymers and perfectly
spherical microspheres"

it's not cheap (about $20 for 240ml) but worth it, our
longest single blow was just under 3km

The project we did can be seen at

More people should take control of their internet, we're
working on some more.


That very well could be. We pushed/pulled about 2 miles with this stuff. Took about a day.

Go Jared: