BEST LOCAL INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER (1999)
Unlike a certain local technology company which shall remain nameless, Bitstream Underground is short on hype but long on substance. In 1994, with only a Mac and two 14.4 modems, owner Michael Koppelman launched Bitstream Underground as a BBS for Twin Cities musicians and artists. What was once a basement empire has grown into a full-fledged business, with everything from basic dial-up service to Web design. But even several Sun Sparc workstations later, Koppelman and his friendly staff cling to the easygoing and friendly style that got them started. Their customer service is impeccable and all without a hint of self-promotion. They also catch hackers and throw one hell of a holiday party for all their clients every year. Not bad for a virtual community.