COMPTROLLER LEMBO, MAYOR HARP JOINTLY TESTIFY IN
SUPPORT OF STATEWIDE GIGABIT INITIATIVE
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 | Contact: Tara
Downes (860.702.3308 |
Comptroller Kevin Lembo and Mayor Toni N. Harp today jointly testified on a
proposal - An Act Concerning Gigabit Internet Access - that would support the
development of ultra-high-speed gigabit Internet service statewide.
New Haven is co-leading a statewide coalition of both state and municipal
leaders to deploy
gigabit broadband service for everyone in Connecticut, including underserved
than 100 Connecticut cities and towns have expressed interest in bringing
their communities and joining the growing economic development movement.
include State Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson
Hartford Deputy Mayor Shari Cantor and Stamford Mayor David Martin.
Lembo and Harp testified together today on the gigabit legislation, which could
significant economic development and consumer benefits.
"This legislation has the potential to energize and expand Connecticut's economy
in a way
that will have lasting effects for decades," Lembo said. "Gigabit broadband
rapidly deliver information - serving as a superhighway for researchers,
large and small and every household. It would be the ultimate economic
program because it would reward all business and industries, new ones and those
established here, with a superior infrastructure and an open door."
"Today the transmission of data is what's needed to form the bedrock
of an information age economy," New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp said. "New
Haven needs one gigabit capacity to transport the medical data,
financial transactions, and research information that are the currency
of New Haven in 2015. Today, our entire state needs this dramatic
infrastructure upgrade to accommodate a deluge of digital information."
A gigabit broadband network is capable of 1,000 megabit-per-second (Mbps) upload
download speeds. The current average home speed in Connecticut is only 9 Mbps
and even slower upload.
"This initiative is about much more than movie and music downloads," Lembo said.
fact, it's hardly about entertainment at all. It's about economic development
Lembo and Harp have heard from both large and small companies that have faced
significant challenges transacting daily business with global clients due to the
limitations of the state's existing Internet technology capability.
"Some of Connecticut's businesses are experiencing impediments to their
because of the lack of this technology in the state," Lembo said. "Gigabit
will provide a strong economic development incentive to business and bring more
competition to the broadband market, reducing costs and improving service for
businesses and households that are suffering from high broadband, cable and
Lembo and Harp said gigabit development in towns and cities across the country
spurring new start-up communities and attracting new corporate residents. They
the success of gigabit networks in areas like Kansas City, MO; Austin, TX; and
"Not only are new and existing entrepreneurs able to plug into a reliable and
network, but consumers and businesses alike are able to reap more competitive
broadband service," Lembo said. "In gigabit municipalities, customers are seeing
customer service and reduced costs for higher-speed broadband service - in some
going from several thousand dollars a month to roughly $70/a month. For
consumers of cable, phone and Internet services the costs for bundled services
"The state needs to start thinking about high-speed internet the way it thinks
about rails and
roads. But fortunately, unlike roads that have to be maintained every three or
four years, this
infrastructure will long outlive any financing. As a small state with high
we have a real opportunity to leapfrog other states by having access to gigabit
service statewide. Gigabit broadband networks are coming. Connecticut can get on
be left behind."
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