Friday, July 12, 2024

Internet Getting a Boost at Frelinghuysen Town Hall

Things could be moving faster at Town Hall in Frelinghuysen, at least in terms of internet speed as the township considers switching to service provider Optimum/Altice.

Mayor Keith Ramos said at the June 21st Township Committee meeting that Town Hall could get “drastically” faster internet speed along with a monthly savings of about $360 by changing over to Optimum from Verizon.

In addition, Ramos said the service from Optimum would allow the township to increase its
single VoIP line, the process that allows traditional telephone service over the internet, to five lines. The number of IP addresses would also increase from one to four under the plan, he said.

“Our phone bill is astronomical,” Ramos said, adding that the cost of the Optimum plan would include installation. The township would be responsible for reconfiguring the telephone lines that connect into the network.

“Our computer guys will have to rearrange some static IPs on the computer,” Ramos said. “But other than that, I looked at this and I really think it’s a good deal.”

Ramos said that the monthly savings would add up to $3,600 in savings per year. “And we’re going to get a drastically faster speed,” he added.

Getting high-speed internet access has been one of the goals of the current township
committee. In recent weeks, meetings have been held with residents and Planet Networks, a Newton-based company that is installing fiber-optic internet in parts of the township.

Optimum and its parent company Altice have also been upgrading lines. Many portions of
Frelinghuysen have been served by Altice and its predecessor Service Electric.

Most of those hook-ups use copper wire and coaxial cables originally installed for cable TV service. The limits of copper wire-based service became apparent as more and more people depend on internet connectivity for school and work.

At the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, those limits came into stark relief as schools and businesses closed.

Copper wires generally top out at 100 gigabytes for speed, with slower speeds usually the case. While this speed is sufficient for most household uses, it can be slowed down by additional users in homes as well as neighborhoods.

Fiber optic lines can, in theory, have speeds hundreds of times as fast.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.