(TNS) — NEW HAVEN — Portions of five of New Haven, Conn.'s neighborhoods will be getting access to ultra-fast broadband Internet service starting in June, officials with a Rochester-based company announced Wednesday.
GoNetspeed is also working on bringing its broadband Internet to neighborhoods in Bridgeport and Hartford, a company spokeswoman said. The New Haven neighborhoods that initially will have access to the broadband service, which includes a gig-speed component, are portions of the city’s Beaver Hills, Dixwell, Dwight, Edgewood and West River sections, according to Jodie Snook, a GoNetspeed spokeswoman.
Snook said the prices for the company’s broadband service start at $50 per month for 100 megabits per second, $70 a month for 500 megabits per second and 1 gigabit speed for $90 per month. Work has already gotten underway for the service the company is bringing to New Haven, she said, and the company has already begun network planning and investment in a multi-year, multimillion-dollar private venture build-out of its network.
“We’re extremely excited to help bring the technological and economic benefits of a 100 percent fiber-optic Internet connection to residents in Connecticut,” Frank Chiaino, chairman of GoNetspeed, said in a statement. “Consumer demand for high-speed Internet access is at an all-time high. With more and more devices connected to the Internet, and cord cutting becoming a larger, national trend, we offer gigabit speeds that allow us to exceed consumer expectations for broadband access.”
Before joining GoNetspeed, Chiaino was the founder of Fibertech Networks, which built a nearly statewide fiber optic network in Connecticut, and nearly 14,000 miles of metro fiber networks across the Northeast. GoNetspeed Chief Operating Officer Tom Perrone previously was vice president of engineering and planning for Fibertech Networks.
The company’s plans to build out its fiber optic network call for it to expand into additional Connecticut communities as it reaches at least a 10 percent expression of interest from residents.
New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp said her administration has been working toward faster and more reliable Internet access for the city for several years.
“(The) digital information highway is necessary to fuel the state’s booming research and technology sectors, as well as other economic drivers, particularly in light of how the federal government seems intent on limiting Internet access,” Harp said in a statement. “Connecticut must do all it can to embrace it (ultra-fast Internet service) as the emerging public utility of the 21st century, and make it as universally available to residents, businesses, schools, and governments as running water and electricity are.”
Laurence Grotheer, Harp’s spokesman, acknowledged that some of the city’s residents may not be able to afford GoNetspeed’s monthly charges for service. But he said that “every effort to bring ultra-high speed access to the city is a step in the right direction.”
“The mayor continues working with the (state’s) Office of Consumer Counsel to bring more comprehensive access across the state,” Grotheer said.
Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson-Katz said concerns that the company might focus on more well-to-do customers rather than residents of more modest means “is a legitmate concern.”
“It’s something we’ve seen with the rollout of Google Fiber,” Katz said. “The good news is that one more company has seen Connecticut as a viable market and competition will bring prices down. I don’t think we’ll ever get to a perfect solution absent a regulatory mandate.”
©2018 the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.