Four years ago, Eric Dynamic crawled through the elephant grass and thorny roses behind the yard next to his with weatherproof ethernet cable to bring a super-fast Internet connection to another family in central Berkeley. Four families in the 1800 block of Hearst Avenue or Berkeley Way now enjoy speeds of 1.5 megabits per second both up- and downstream, a critical factor for anyone hosting a Web site. By using a wireless signal beamed to an antenna fixed atop Grizzly Peak, Dynamic's company -- UC Telecommunications, or Transbay.net
-- has been a pioneer among Net providers, the first to run a commercial DSL line west of the Rockies (1997), and the first to advertise wireless Internet in the Bay Area (1998). Its tiny two-person shop provides free hosting for Berkeley PTA sites as well as sites like Free Speech Radio News. But Transbay.net
is known primarily for its service. Dynamic doesn't ignore queries and is a fanatic about filtering spam. "He's very flexible and very helpful," says one Berkeley Way resident. "That says it right there."