May 2024

Ashalnd HomeAccording to Jim Teece, who, along with his wife Dena Matthews, own Ashland Home Net and Project A in Ashland, they were “in the right place at the right time as the internet happened” and started to develop custom software that lived on the web. 

“The internet changed everything, from government, education, business, healthcare and community, and we wanted to show Ashland that you could do business with a local company that gives back and not just a giant company that doesn’t support the community,” Jim said. “We started Project A, a custom software company, in Ashland in 1990. We have clients all over the world that we develop custom software solutions for.”

Jim also helped design the Ashland Fiber Network and created one of the first ISPs (Internet Service Provider) on the open network that focused on business needs only. He also taught classes for free titled “Doing Business on the Internet” to help all businesses in Ashland learn how to compete online as the internet was taking over. He met and mentored Gary Nelson when he started his ISP Ashland Home Net. 

“Gary’s Ashland Home Net took over the Cable TV operations from the City at one point, and I innovated a new TV channel using content uploaded by Ashland citizens called TV20,” Jim said. “It provided a hybrid blend of hyper local content using web technology on to a cable TV channel. It was during this time that Gary announced his desire to retire and sell Ashland Home Net to Charter. Dena and I presented a counter proposal in 2008 that would keep Ashland Home Net local, and Gary accepted.”

Prior to moving to Ashland over 30 years ago, Jim and Dena lived in Arizona while Dena was getting her master’s degree (they grew up in Southern California). 

“We wanted to ensure that everyone in Ashland had access to the internet, access to world class customer service and training and enriched lives because of the internet,” said Dena, who runs AHN on a day-to-day basis. “Ashland Home Net provides high speed internet and phone service to everyone in Ashland via the Ashland Fiber Network. We are the only ISP on the AFN network that does billing and tech support from our offices in downtown Ashland. We provide Ashland Fiber Network internet service for less per month than what you can get it from AFN/City of Ashland directly.”

The company also offers VOIP telephone service and managed Wi-Fi service as well.

“Managed wi-fi is a service that lets us support your home network remotely,” Jim said. “As homes become more and more connected and complicated, we can help troubleshoot issues without rolling a truck and sending a technician on site. This saves you money. We also offer internet services to businesses, from networking and tech support to installation, migration, hosting, email and other services that go far beyond the internet connection that other ISPs offer.” 

Jim and Dena are definitely a busy couple. They own and operate Project A, Ashland Home Net, Rogue Broadband, Umpqua Broadband and the Southern Oregon Business Journal. Jim is also a partner in Art Authority and 1000Museums.com (see our article on page 56). And they give back to the community.

“We’re truly a small mom and pop shop,” Dena said. “Giving back to the community is in our DNA. We believe strongly in pouring our profits back into the communities we serve. We proudly donate back to SOU, the school district, Ashland Chamber and hundreds of other local organizations that make our lives better.”

At Ashland Home Net, the customer comes first. “We spend time trying to ensure that all Oregonians get affordable access to the internet by working with state agencies, other local ISPs and members of the Northwest Telecommunications Association,” said Jim, who is also president of the board of the Oregon Connections Telecommunications Conference. “Fiber to the home is coming. You can fill out a form on our site to find out when service will be available in your neighborhood. We will be offering the fastest, most reliable internet connection for nearly the same amount of money as what people pay today for the AFN cable hybrid network. It’s very exciting.”

For more info, go to Ashlandhome.net or call 541-488-9207. You can also see them on Facebook and Instagram. The office is located at 485 E. Main Street.

And for more information on the various community activities that Jim and Dena are involved with, go to jimteece.com.