Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
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Edison, New Jersey is proceeding with the construction of an affordable, gigabit-capable fiber network after receiving $2 million cash infusion from state leaders. The resulting network will be built on the back of decades’ worth of local frustration with the high prices, spotty availability, and slow broadband speeds provided by regional monopolies.
The city spent $36,750 on a feasibility study in 2022 to determine the plausibility of building a citywide fiber network. The resulting study by Matrix Design Group found that 87 percent of Edison locals would likely switch to a city-owned and operated fiber network if the option existed.
Edison’s network is in the early stages of planning, and city leaders are only just starting to field competing bids from consulting vendors who’ll then draft a more comprehensive business plan.
In the interim, the city has received $2 million as part of the New Jersey fiscal year 2024 budget to help get the proposal off the ground.
"Access to the Internet is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” State Senator Patrick Diegnan, Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak and Assemblyman Sterley Stanley said of the funding. “We commend Mayor Sam Joshi for making high-speed municipal broadband a priority for Edison."
In a post last year made to social media, Joshi detailed the city’s longstanding frustration with regional telecom monopoly Optimum, owned by French telecom giant Altice.
NYC Co-op Told To Pull Free Service From Affordable Housing After City’s Reversal On Open Access Fiber
Last November we noted how New York City had scrapped its longstanding plan to build a promising open access fiber network. Not only did that stark reversal leave many partner ISPs high and dry after years of planning, some local community-run ISPs now say the city is forcing them to remove existing free service to affordable housing developments.
People’s Choice Communications, a small NYC cooperative cobbled together by striking Charter Communications workers, was one of several ISPs left in a lurch by the sudden reversal by the Adams administration.
Adding insult to injury, the ISP is now being told by the city to pull existing service provided for free to marginalized communities in The Bronx.
New York City’s original master plan was poised to be a game changer when it was first introduced back in 2020. The plan not only included a pilot program designed to bring affordable broadband to 450,000 residents of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings, but a plan to spend $156 million on a pilot open access fiber network.
The proposal was to showcase the real-world benefits of the open access model, which data suggests results in significantly lower costs and higher quality service thanks to increased competition. If successful, the city would have then considered a bigger $2.1 billion plan to deploy such a network citywide, providing a template for major metropolitan areas nationwide.
New Mayor, Old Playbook
With the election of a new mayor, everything changed.