The Ridgefielders Give Their Internet Service Providers a D Score

The Ridgefielders Give Their Internet Service Providers a D Score

RIDGEFIELD — The city aims to leverage potential federal funds to ensure that every resident has access to high-speed broadband Internet service.

To that end, Ridgefield has entered into an agreement with a software development company to perform a feasibility analysis to determine how close the city is to achieving high-speed Internet for all. A city survey found residents and businesses rated their Internet service poorly.

“It’s a fiber that sends light signals, so the amount of information you can transmit is almost limitless and the speed is beyond anything we’ve ever experienced,” said head coach Rudy Marconi. of Ridgefield, describing broadband.

The city’s goal is for the approval of the government’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which will provide $65 billion to help ensure that every American has access to reliable high-speed internet through a historic investment in the deployment of broadband infrastructure.

In 2023, the government will see which cities are “broadband ready” and allocate $40 billion to these projects. Municipalities that are mapped with “ready to go” plans in place will be best placed for this funding.

To help prepare the city “in spades,” Marconi signed a three-party contract between the city of Ridgefield, the Western Connecticut Council of Governments, and EntryPoint Networks, a software development company, to conduct a broadband feasibility analysis. .

“The first step is a broadband feasibility study to try to decide a number of things like where are the fiber lines at the moment? What type of structure are you going to have for fiber? Is Will it be a private, public-private partnership or public-only model? Will it be open access?,” said Glori Norwitt, chair of the city’s Economic and Community Development Commission.

She added that having robust broadband networks is “critical infrastructure for Ridgefield” and said she’s been pushing for the city to begin a feasibility study since March.

She said, according to EntryPoint, it will take about four months to complete the study.

The Western Connecticut Council of Governments, or WestCOG, will fund the $35,000 study through its grants program.

The next step in getting broadband for the whole city will be a technical study that will involve the specifics of the locations in the city for fiber implementation. The study will be able to tell exactly how many homes have broadband. Norwitt said remaining funds from the American Rescue Plan Act may be available to pay for this study.

Need for broadband

The city has recognized the need for high-speed Internet service for several years.

Ridgefield’s 2020 Conservation and Development Plan stated that a city goal is to promote high-speed/high-capacity broadband service for all parts of the city.

Additionally, in 2021, the first draftsman’s office conducted an “Internet Service Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey” of Ridgefield, in which the city received a “D” grade.

In total, about 10% of households and businesses in Ridgefield responded, ranking their home and business Internet service.

Residents rated their current Internet service as a “D+” and businesses rated their current Internet service as a “D”.

For Home Internet service:

  • 85% of the city uses Comcast as their ISP, 15% uses Frontier (the State Broadband Office considers anyone with Frontier service to have sub-broadband speeds due to outdated infrastructure lacking high speeds) basic rate of 25 megabits per second / 3 megabits per second)
  • 72% regularly experience brief service interruptions
  • 61% experience slowdowns when multiple people use the internet in the business or household
  • 10% have no problems

For Business Internet Service:

  • 10% complain of slowdowns when several people use the Internet
  • 8% report glitches or lags when streaming videos
  • 12% report brief service interruptions
  • Businesses along the Route 7 corridor report that their business internet service goes down at least once a week.

Recently, the city planned to allocate $45,000 of its American Rescue Plan Act funds to a broadband study. However, once WestCOG offered to fund the study, the city decided to use those funds.

“Our goal is to provide open access. That means if we can get that infrastructure built with federal government money…open access would let you choose who you want to do business with and not have Frontier tell you , you have to accept their products or Comcast, you have to accept their products. It opens up the field of play and makes it a much more competitive market for everyone in our city,” Marconi said. “It’s something we really want to give to our community and we want to be at the front of the line when the money comes out of the federal government.”

#Ridgefielders #Give #Internet #Service #Providers #Score

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *