The idea for Excel.Net started back in November of 1994. Excel.Net was founded by Larry A. Weidig and Shelly K. Weidig when Larry attended an Internet presentation put on by Alpha.Net. During this presentation a number of people asked questions about providing a local dialup Internet access service. Alpha.Net stated that their business was to provide the backbone connection or dedicated connection, but others would fill that gap of ISP. They did not have any ISP's at that time either. This is when the founders decided to start investigating it. During December Larry and Shelly sent a mailing out to 100 targeted people asking if there would be interest in Internet access. Over 50 of these were received back!!!
The combination of the response to the mailing and the fact that one of the founders, Shelly K Weidig, was laid off from her current position launched the business. Larry and Shelly formulated the business plan, received an SBA loan from the bank and connected up with Alpha.Net. The business was initially located in the basement of Larry and Shelly's home. Excel.Net started with a 56 K connection to Alpha.Net, 10 MultiTech 28.8 modems, a Livingston PM-2eR and a BSDI UNIX server. Shelly quickly became the person in charge of running the entire operation, except for the calls asking technical questions. At night when Larry got off of work, they would continue working on business and adding customers. This was a very exciting time!
Excel.Net continued operating out of Larry and Shelly's home until August of 1995 when they decided to move into an office. Running a business from a house was not an ideal situation and it was time to expand their line capacity to a T1. Alpha.Net was in an office at 728 Pennsylvania Avenue which had additional space. This provided a unique advantage because Excel.Net did not have to pay Ameritech to be connected to Alpha.Net. They simply ran a wire through the wall. They moved into the office, while under construction and continued operating from there.
In December of 1995 Excel.Net added their first remote site in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Both Larry and Shelly were not really sure the area was large enough, but decided to give it a try based on the enthusiasm shown at the Sheboygan County Fair. As it turned out, this was an excellent area to establish their services. By now Excel.Net's customer base was growing to a fairly good size and Shelly and Larry were working all of the time - days, evenings and weekends. As both of them will confirm, this was a fairly stressful situation.
In May of 1996, Shelly left the business to pursue other educational opportunities. At that time Excel.Net hired its first employee. The business continued expanding and soon they had a few people working for them and added another location in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Finally, in November of 1996 Larry decided to leave his full-time job at Wigwam Mills to work at Excel.Net exclusively.
Excel.Net has continued to add staff and additional sites and in January of 1998 moved the office to 729 Pennsylvania Avenue. This also marked the addition of their first full-time employees other than Larry and Shelly.
Excel.Net has continued to expand the coverage areas while maintaining the highest level of customer support and system availability. Today they cover most of southeastern Wisconsin from Green Bay down to the Illinois border.