When Hal Brumfield’s mother’s internet bill went up by $100 with no explanation or warning, Brumfield took it upon himself to find a solution.

He had been in information technology for over 20 years working for a startup based in The Woodlands. After that business got sold, Brumfield started a moving billboard company in 2000.

When the dot-com bubble crashed in 2001, he was hit hard by the effects of the crash and the recession, he said.

“I went from top of the mountain to under the mountain. I went completely broke. I was in my office, sitting there trying to figure out what to do because I didn’t have 20 bucks to get home that day,” Brumfield said.

Brumfield said he sold everything in the office for $1,000 and moved back to Houston. In July 2001, he started an IT service company that he sold in 2014, intending to retire—until he needed to help his mother.

Taking the money he had leftover from the sale, he started Tachus, a local fiber internet provider. Brumfield said he chose the name because it means “swift” or “quick” in Greek.

Fiber optic internet uses light to transmit data instead of electricity, according to the professional Fiber Optics Association.

“I thought, ‘Well, great—you know, it’s going to be fast, swift and speedy internet,’” Brumfield said.

Two of Brumfield’s goals in starting Tachus were to have a set rate with no contracts for customers and to have a connection that is consistently fast, he said.

“I never thought it was right that you are being forced to pay for something that you’re not getting,” Brumfield said.

Tachus customers sign up for a month-to-month deal with no contract and no cancellation fees.

“If somebody wants to leave, I don’t want to hold them hostage with some cancellation fee; I want it to be a month-to-month deal where the pricing never changes; they don’t have to look [for a change] every 12 months,” Brumfield said.

Shortly after he started the company, the city of Shenandoah hired Tachus to install fiber internet in its neighborhoods.

Tachus has served a total of 100,000 customers since it was founded in 2018 and has nearly 30,000 current customers, twice as many as it had on Jan. 1, 2022, Brumfield said.

“I can’t take credit other than just having the idea. It’s everybody here that has gotten this to where we are,” Brumfield said. “We’ve gone up, not down.”

Brumfield said the company works to provide a more personalized, local experience than larger mainstream internet providers.

“A lot of [customers] have been burned. They’re skeptical of internet providers,” he said.

He said his favorite parts about running Tachus are working with the employees and the customers.

“I hear people say, ‘I want to retire here; I want my kids to work here,’ and that’s so cool— it’s cool to see that,” he said.


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