DILLON BEACH (KPIX 5) — A man moved to coastal West Marin partly to disconnect from the rest of the world. But then his daughter came home and said, “Dad, I need high-speed internet for school.”
Big wireless companies didn’t offer service in the area, so he got a pricey fiber line.READ MORE: UPDATE: 15 Injured, 20 Rescued After Fire Erupts Inside San Francisco Tenderloin Apartment Building
He then installed high-speed antennas all over town and turned his garage into a command center of an internet company that serves 140 of the 400 houses in Dillon Beach with new requests for hookups coming every day.
Dillon Beach is a remote seaside community in West Marin County.
Brandt Kuykendall moved there six years ago and enjoyed being cut off from our high-tech world, until his daughter came home from high school one day.
“She came home and just said, Dad, I think this ‘no-internet out here’ is going to be a problem,” Kuykendall explained.
He tried signing up for Dish service but it was slow and he got a bill for $700 for one month’s internet.
“There’s got to be a better solution, I mean, that’s really what I said, there’s got to be a better solution!” he said.
So, he set out to create his own internet service.
He knew there was a cell tower above town so he contracted with AT&T to send a fiber line directly to his house.
“And it just takes a right-hand turn and goes right into my garage!” Kuykendall explained.READ MORE: UPDATE: Willow Fire Grows Past 2,000 Acres Near Big Sur, Evacuations Ordered
It was expensive so he did research to figure out how to turn that into a WiFi signal for himself and 25 of his immediate neighbors, charging them a flat $50 monthly fee.
The service was blazing fast with no equipment or installation fee. And if something broke, Kuykendall would just walk over and fix it.
“But as neighbors started talking, I started getting requests in other areas of the community,” he said.
Now, Kuykendall has high-speed antennas all over town and his garage is the command center of an internet company serving 140 of the 400 houses in Dillon Beach, with new requests for hookups coming every day.
His clients say it’s a huge change from the snail-like dialup service they were used to.
Dennis Rodgers is one of Kuykendall’s customers.
“My wife’s in the real estate business and I’m in the home repair business and it just really helps our businesses out, that’s the bottom line,” Rodgers said.
Running Dillon Beach Internet Service is now Kuykendall’s job.
It’s been an unexpected journey for a guy just trying to get an internet signal for his daughter.MORE NEWS: West Nile Virus Found in Mosquitos in Stockton
Necessity made Kuykendall a father of invention and an entire town is benefiting from it.