Dan F | Colorado
If Dan’s sole purpose in life were to be close to nature, he couldn’t do any better than he is now.
Dan lives on a hill in Buckhorn Canyon near the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. His home is an off-the-grid, passive solar house that he designed and built himself. He moved to the canyon in 1991 for the solitude, the natural beauty, and to be near fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping, which are all outside his door. His neighbors are retirees and independent entrepreneurs like himself.
Naturally, Dan also has to be able to earn a living to live where he wants. He installs wind and solar energy systems, teaches classes on renewable energy, writes articles for renewable energy magazines, and advises people on off-grid living. He runs two renewable energy businesses, Otherpower and Buckville Energy Consulting, and a supporting publishing venture, Buckville Publications, out of his house.
“I can do everything I need to from here—like updating my websites, uploading photos and videos, and have enough capacity for personal usage like watching movies online.”
Dan uses HughesNet satellite Internet for voice service, to maintain his websites, and to communicate with clients, suppliers and subcontractors. He uses high-speed satellite Internet to build up his renewable energy installation business through his websites and online advertising. HughesNet enables him to keep in touch with customers and cultivate new business, which was nearly impossible when he started in the renewable energy installation business in 1994. Dan’s property in the mountains is off the landline phone network, the electrical grid and the road network. Wired Internet connectivity? Forget about it. Customers were out of reach.
“The nearest land-line phone is about 11 miles from me,” Dan said. “It’s a two-and-a-half hour trip just to pick up my mail and 45 minutes to get to a spot where I can get cell reception. The last quote I got to run a phone line up here was $25,000, and that was only if every family in a five-mile radius agreed to sign up.”
Dan signed up with his first satellite Internet provider in 2000, switched to HughesNet two years later, and upgraded to Gen4 in 2012. He uses satellite broadband to build up his renewable energy installation business through his websites and online advertising.
“It’s been a game changer. All of my businesses are based online. I can do everything I need to from here—like updating my websites, uploading photos and videos, and have enough capacity for personal usage like watching movies online. I’ve never gone below 50 percent of my bandwidth allowance,” Dan said. “Without HughesNet service, I’d have to spend three hours every day driving back and forth to the nearest town to run my business. I’d much rather be up here with the nice sunsets and sunrises.”