Planet Networks’ CEO Robert Boyle presented his interest in expanding the business’ fiberoptics network to Jefferson at the Town Council meeting on June 24. The business, based in Newton, NJ, provides Internet as well as TV and phone services to its customers and could bring competition into the town, which can only access the Internet through Optimum services for most areas.
“My office has been getting lots of phone calls about the Optimum service and a lot of complaints about customer service and having only one provider,” Mayor Eric Wilsusen said. “I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised that this will eventually be another solution for our residents instead of Optimum.”
By state law, the town is required to make an agreement and grant the business access to the town’s poles within 60 days of its request. Most of the time, Boyle said, the business will use existing poles to build its network, but Planet Networks may need to build in places without poles from time to time. In these cases, they will work with the town engineer to avoid obstructing traffic and pay any fees associated with the construction process.
Planet Networks offers five different symmetrical upload and download speeds, including 175, 300, 500, 1000, and 10000 megabits (Mbps). For comparison, Optimum’s fastest speed is 400 Mbps download speed and 40 Mbps upload speed. Boyle said that, unlike Optimum, the business doesn’t charge any “nonsense fees” that might be added on a bill.
Planet Networks competes against Optimum, Verizon, and Comcast in other areas of Morris and Sussex County. However, the business won’t be able to deploy its service to the town all at once. Instead, Boyle said he plans to build out in lake communities first because they typically don’t have the best infrastructure and have a high density of customers.
The township administration plans to prepare a resolution to grant Planet Networks access in the coming weeks and have a proposal ready for the next meeting.