As Princeton moves forward to the design phase of a proposed high-speed fiber optic network, residents must decide how they will vote on a motion to approve the project later this year. Proponents of the plan understand the importance of in-home access to fast, affordable Internet, low-cost telephone service, and high performance streaming video capabilities. Opponents say we do not need access to the Internet or that we should wait a few years for something better and cheaper. Others believe it’s a poor investment and a financial burden we can’t afford, one that will only saddle taxpayers with a hefty bill.
Some of those who oppose the project point to a search engine generated list of public municipal broadband projects around the country that have failed or are in serious financial jeopardy, making the assumption that the same scenario will most certainly occur in Princeton. We believe that those attempting to connect the dots from failed networks to Princeton’s plan, which is still in its early stages, lack a full understanding of the sequence of events that led to these failures in other communities.