What’s Your Broadband Story? Princeton Speaks Out

While we have made considerable progress over the past year in our goal of bringing high-speed broadband internet to the town of Princeton, we are not there yet. And, as such, the broadband struggles in day-to-day life continue on. Here’s a sampling of the feedback we have received recently.

Lack of Broadband Keeps Us Out of Princeton

We currently live and Holden and would like to move to Princeton. My children already attend TPS through school choice and we have always loved the town. The only problem is this, my husband is a computer engineer and often works from home. Therefore, we need high speed internet. Are there any areas in Princeton that currently have high speed internet? If there is not, we will be forced to stay in Holden or move to Sterling.

-Heather P.

Ready and Willing…Let’s Go!

I just read the article in the T&G this morning about the lack of cable provider offers. As a young professional who just moved to Princeton, I don’t see this as much of a problem as long as the cost to implement the broadband doesn’t go up. I know that for myself and my husband and many of our friends prefer to use internet, Hulu, Netflix etc. to watch most of their TV shows and movies. In my opinion, the real problem in the area (aside from broadband) is the cell service. Thanks again for all of your hard work! My husband and I are excited and are definitely willing to pay to get broadband for our house.

- Lisa D

What’s your broadband story? Let us know at info@princetonbroadband.com.

Coming Soon: Doctor Remote House Calls

Remote house calls create the opportunity to provide patients with care at the time and place they need it most, and further mitigates the risk of lack of adherence, not seeking help at all, recall bias and worsening of conditions.

- Melissa Thompson, CEO and Founder of TalkSession.92408289-jpg_171811

Analysts predict that 160 million patients in the U.S. will be monitored and treated remotely for at least one chronic condition by 2020. Clearly, Princeton will need a true broadband solution to be able to take advantage of this emerging trend in health care.

Read full article at psfk.com »

Discover More Details on the Matrix/Millennium Broadband Proposal

ProjectSpotlightThe agenda for the Feb. 26 meeting of the Princeton Broadband Committee included a presentation from Matrix/Millennium on their latest proposal to fund a high-speed fiber optic network to town residences. The meeting, open to the public, allowed Princeton residents the opportunity to address questions and concerns regarding the project, which was originally unveiled to the committee Feb.12.

The presentation, delivered by Chris Lynch, senior account representative for Matrix Design Group, looked at costs related to two possible installation scenarios, including a list of exclusions that would be Princeton’ responsibilities in completing the estimated $4 -5.3 million in project expenses.

The committee wished to thank the concerned residents who attended the meeting and looks forward to holding more in-depth public hearings on the project this spring. Check back with this site from time to time for any posted updates on recent developments.

Download the Matrix/Millennium Proposal. Formats: Adobe Acrobat (.PDF) or  PowerPoint (.PPTX) 

Questions About the New Broadband Proposal? Join Us This Wed

Have a question or comment regarding the recent proposal from Matrix/Millennium to cover costs to install a town wide high-speed, fiber optic network? If so, you are invited to attend the Feb. 26 meeting of the Princeton Broadband Committee at Town Hall Annex. The meeting begins at 7:00 pm with the public comment agenda item scheduled for 7:30 pm.

All broadband committee meetings are open to the public, but this meeting represents the first opportunity for Princeton residents to ask questions regarding the proposal. While discussions at this point are in their preliminary stages, a more detailed Information Session on the proposal will be held in the near future.

Breaking News: PBC Receives Tentative Proposal to Cover Broadband Installation Costs

Matrix/Millennium project could reduce taxpayers burden of $4-5 million

The Princeton Broadband Committee received some surprising news at its Feb 12 meeting when a representative from telecommunications firm Matrix Design Group outlined a preliminary proposal from his company to fund a fiber-to-the-home project for those residents choosing to purchase high-speed fiber optic connectivity. The proposal, if accepted by the board of selectmen, would save taxpayers between $4 and $5.3 million, easing the concerns of those residents who say they should not have to pay for services they do not use.

Joining Matrix in the proposal is its project management partner Millennium Communications Group, Inc. of East Hanover, NJ. The proposal includes choosing one of two options: an active Ethernet network with a $5.3 million price tag or a $4million cost estimate for a gigabit passive optical network (GPON).  Matrix/Millennium currently favors the less costly GPON network for the Princeton project. A not too technical explanation of GPON vs. active Ethernet can be found at http://connectedplanetonline.com/commentary/telcos-ethernet-gpon-090910/.

The committee thanked Matrix/Millennium representative Chris Lynch for his generous proposal, which significantly lessens the amount taxpayers will be asked to pay over a 20-year period. The proposal does not exempt the town from assuming some of the costs, including environmental permitting and studies, application fees and “make-ready” costs that may involve the services of the Princeton Municipal Light Department and Verizon that share responsibilities for existing telephone poles. Estimates of those costs, which will need to be approved by town voters, are yet to be determined.

Some specifics of the tentative proposal include the stipulation that homeowners who want the network must pay a $200 installation fee during a set enrollment period. Those requesting installation after that period would be charged $1200 for the service. Each subscriber will be charged a $25 per month “construction fee” in addition to a proposed menu that includes high-speed Internet (30-50 megabits), voice over Internet (VOIP) telephone service and a competitive local channel television offering. While customers will have the option to chose services on an a la carte basis, estimated monthly costs for the three bundled services are $100 per month, which makes the average monthly bill around $125.

Since the town is currently in the process of accepting applications from cable vendors for similar services, the Matrix/Millennium proposal cannot be acted upon until the advertised March 11 deadline to submit bids has passed. Next steps to approve any project would most likely be a vendor-lead presentation of the proposal to the select board that will be open to the public.

Check our website for further information and updates regarding this late-breaking news, which could have a significant impact on the committee’s goal to provide affordable high speed fiber optic connectivity to every home.

When Internet Providers Won’t Provide, Should Local Governments Step Up?

When incumbent providers cannot serve the broadband needs of some localities, local governments should be allowed—no, encouraged—to step up to the plate and ensure that their citizens are not left on the wrong side of the great divide. – Michael Copps, former FCC Commissioner

Many communities are struggling with limited Internet access options. DSL and cable may be available but the prices increase nearly every year, often without improvements in technology or service. A lack of universal fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access results in less economic development, fewer educational opportunities, and a lower quality of life, particularly for low-income families and communities of color. Only a few US cities have access to much faster networks, often at more affordable prices similar to what is available in peer nations. (cont…)

Download the Building Community Broadband Access briefing here (.pdf) »