Danbury officials will be sending out a message via the 311 info telephone system today. It's a call with a six question survey about low cost, high speed internet service. Mayor Mark Boughton proposed an idea during his State of the City address in December for $15 a month fiber-optic internet service for every household in the City. When he made the announcement, Boughton said this would have bridge the digital divide and help close the achievement gap.
Officials say as good as the idea sounds, they want to make sure residents are on board with it and would take advantage of the service, if provided. The City is hoping at least half of respondents provide favorable answers to the survey.
The plan would then be presented to a company like Frontier Communications, which would build and maintain the fiber optic network.
Boughton says eventually Danbury residents could get internet service for free. Residents would have to pay $15 a month for five years, $5 a month for the next five years and after that the rate should be zero. He says that would be possible through new enrollees sustaining the the cost of infrastructure maintenance.
Danbury Director of Project Excellence Stephen Nocera says the deal could be negotiated fairly quickly, in about six to eight months. But he says the project itself will take time because there is construction needed to set up the fiber optic infrastructure. It could be a quicker timeline depending on the service provider because some companies already have fiber optic networks partially set up in Danbury.