young families were flocking to our towns?
The smartphone changed the world. 700 billion have been sold in ten years, every one needing a broadband network. But the Covid-19 crisis has exposed a deeper problem. It first made clear that broadband is what holds us together. But it has also shown that what we thought of as broadband from cable tv companies is not really broadband when many users demand access to shared lines at the same time. We already have 26,000 homes without even nominal broadband. Now we learn that all 76,000 homes in our region don’t have broadband when they really need it.
To connect everyone, broadband must become a community responsibility. In our rural area connecting everyone with the latest technology requires that some or all of next generation networks must be owned by municipalities, just like roads. We advocate a business model that parallels roads: the municipality owns the wire on the poles, like roads, private partners install wire to the home and all network electronics, like driveways and garages.
If we do this soon, we would be leading our state to the gigabit highway. We can bring young people back to our region. We can become a center of innovation in many fields. We can attack the digital divide. We can push education to the top. We can insure a real future for health care. Homes values will appreciate. And the next time we have a novel virus, and there will be such a time, we will be ready.
Stay updated with the latest news as we move forward in our efforts.
With our business model our region of 25 towns could pass every home with fiber optic wiring for less than $6 per home per month based on securing 40 year loans. Even one town such as Norfolk could be done for less than $20 per month. By comparison, just maintaining our roads can cost $100 per home per month, and the state now pays $488 per home per month for education, our most important investment.
Northwest Connect represents 25 towns in northwest Connecticut with a plan for a next-generation regional network. We also have begun programs for economic and community development such a network engenders. This web site tells our story. It gives our plan; it gives our reasoning; and it offers breadth and depth on many facts and issues that enter any discussion of our work. We are poised to move soon; engineering could began in one town as early as fall of 2020.