A total of 46 Connecticut cities and towns have now signed on to a project to bring ultra-high-speed Internet service to their communities, according to state Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz.
The goal is to provide Internet service connections that are as much as 100 times faster than what Connecticut Internet users now have. Advocates of the project say ultra-speedy World Wide Web service has triggered dramatic economic growth in several of the U.S. cities already.
New Haven, Stamford and West Hartford leaders joined with state officials in September to announce the plan, and they invited other Connecticut municipalities to get on board the effort to bring upgraded Internet service to the state.
“The response from the state’s towns has been overwhelming,” Katz said in a prepared statement Friday. “I’ve heard over and over that municipal officials are frustrated with available Internet speeds and the cost to their towns of upgrading Internet networks.”
“That so many Connecticut cities have joined this effort is heartening and confirms for me the pent-up demand for high-capacity digital connectivity in support of commerce, research and 21st Century life in our state,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.
The next step in the project is to obtain formal proposals from Internet service providers interested in taking part in the cooperative public-private effort. Those proposals are due to be handed in by Jan. 13 to New Haven’s city purchasing department, which is administering the project.
William Vallee, who is the Office of Consumer Counsel’s broadband policy coordinator, said two international investment banks have already expressed interest in becoming involved with the high-speed Internet project. One of those financial institutions, Macquarie Bank, is also an owner of Aquarion Company, Connecticut’s largest water company, Vallee said.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc