HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — After a slow process to approve super-fast Internet, Connecticut legislators have been given the go-ahead to improve the state’s Internet speeds.
Forty-six Connecticut towns have now committed to building and financing faster Internet service up to 1,000 megabits–1 gigabit–per second faster. In other words, speeds will be 100 times faster than previous home Internet speeds.
Comptroller Kevin Lembo and Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz, who helped lead the state effort, compare super-fast Internet to critical utilities like electricity or home heating. They also promote it as a form of economic development to lure and keep businesses in the state.
“I commend municipal leaders for recognizing the importance of this consumer and economic development initiative. Gigabit broadband service will be a superhighway for Connecticut researchers, schools, businesses large and small, and every household,” Comptroller Lembo said.
Although many Internet users feel the current broadband speeds are sufficient, service is speeding up and leading businesses and individuals who rely on data and streaming should expect even faster downloads.
The big question is who pays: taxpayers or Internet companies that recoup their investment from customers in the form of rates, charges or fees. The highest portion of the cost would be physically connecting the Internet house-to-house.
No cost estimate has yet been calculated as officials investigate what’s needed to establish super-fast Internet.
“Connecticut has a long, proud history of innovation, and today we are leading again by taking an important step toward becoming the first gigabit state in the nation,” state Senator Martin Looney (D-New Haven) said.
The 46 municipalities that will soon see super-fast Internet speeds include: Avon, Barkhamsted, Berlin, Bloomfield, Branford, Bridgeport, Canton, Colchester, Danbury, Durham, East Haddam, East Hartford, Enfield, Fairfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Guilford, Haddam, Hartford, Hebron, Lisbon, madison, Manchester, Mansfield, Meriden, Middletown, Milford, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Plainville, Ridgefield, Rocky Hill, Simsbury, Somers, South Windsor, Southington, Stamford, Thomaston, Waterford, West Hartford, West Haven, Westport, Windham, Windsor, and Woodbridge.