Businesses (and residents) who have high-speed internet — and it’s almost all of the state now — may not remember what life was like without it.
For starters, you can forget about cloud-based business solutions. Using streaming services for movies or gaming — or gaining access to sites for homework — is a tough task, too.
In areas of Cumberland County, this is modern-day life. Hopewell Township Mayor Paul Ritter — working with Comcast — is out to change that.
Last month, the two announced a partnership to expand Comcast’s network into unserved areas of Hopewell Township, ensuring high-speed broadband is available to every resident, farm and small business throughout the community.
Comcast commitment to digital equity
Over the past three years, Comcast has invested more than $1 billion in technology and infrastructure in New Jersey, including improvements to its broadband network. Company officials said they are also deeply committed to advancing digital equity in the communities it serves.
The company’s recent community partnerships in New Jersey have totaled $18.1 million in cash and in-kind contributions to more than 190 local nonprofits over the last three years. This investment includes the installation of 35 Lift Zones, which provide free Wi-Fi service to local community centers to promote digital learning.
Internet Essentials and Lift Zones are part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive, 10-year, $1 billion pledge to advance digital equity through programs and community partnerships that connect people to the internet, advance economic mobility and open doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers and creators.
This expansion will bring Comcast’s fast, reliable and fiber-rich network along with its innovative suite of Xfinity products and services, including residential broadband speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, to the 132 unserved rural homes and 13 businesses in the township.
“High-speed internet access is critical to connect to work, school, family, friends and entertainment, and I am so pleased we can now provide this for every resident, farmer and small business in our township,” Ritter said.
“Our partnership with Comcast is the first of its kind in Cumberland County and New Jersey and allowed us to extend network access quickly and in a cost-effective way to our constituents. We are proud to set this example and provide a model for other rural towns to fill broadband deployment gaps in their communities, while helping our residents, farmers and small businesses enjoy the benefits that digital access brings.”
Dan Bonelli, senior vice president for Comcast’s Freedom Region, said the company is committed to ensuring everyone can fully participate in the digital economy.
“We are proud to help Mayor Ritter and township officials meet their goal of connecting every resident and business to broadband access,” he said. “Thanks to our fast, secure and reliable fiber-rich network, as well as our expertise in designing, engineering, building and operating broadband infrastructure, Comcast is uniquely positioned to deliver digital access more quickly and affordably than other options to rural unserved homes and businesses.”
For local businesses, Bonelli said Comcast Business offers a suite of connectivity, communications, networking, cybersecurity, wireless and managed solutions to help organizations of different sizes prepare for what’s next.
Powered by the nation’s largest gig-speed broadband network, Bonelli said Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and midsize businesses, and one of the leading service providers to the enterprise market.
Bonelli said residential customers will be able to take advantage of Xfinity’s full suite of internet products, including supersonic Wi-Fi technology from powerful gateways, xFi Advanced Security, Xfinity Mobile and Flex, a free 4K platform for internet-only customers that seamlessly delivers streaming content.
About Hopewell Twp.
Hopewell Township, founded in 1748 and incorporated in 1798, is one of the original townships in the state. According to the most recent census count available, Hopewell Township has an estimated population of 4,571 people and 1,662 households.
Hopewell spans a total of about 31 square miles and borders municipalities in Cumberland County including Bridgeton, Fairfield Township, Greenwich Township, Shiloh, Stow Creek Township and Upper Deerfield Township.