Comcast will invest $13 million to expand its fiber-based network into New Jersey, the company announced Friday.Fiber optic cable allows for significantly faster internet speeds for businesses and residential customers. Comcast’s fiber optic network provides speeds as fast as 100 gigabits-per-second.
The $13 million investment will be used for expansion throughout the greater Philadelphia area, $7 million of which will be used to expand the network into Mount Laurel, Princeton, Somerset and South Plainfield. Comcast estimates that over 14,000 businesses will have access to the fiber network as a result of the expansion.
“This is all good news,” said James Barrood, CEO and president of the New Jersey Tech Council. “In a competitive world, access to infrastructure is critical to the state remaining competitive.”
Experts in the field of internet infrastructure said the biggest effect will be felt by smaller businesses being able to afford faster speeds.
“If you’re a small to medium business and don’t have $10,000 to spend on a 10 gigabit-per-second system, you were left with DSL or megabit-per-seconds which doesn’t do a lot of good except for browsing,” said Len Carella, vice president of infrastructure and shared services at iCIMS. “When you bring down the price point it opens up opportunities they couldn’t do before.”
The expansion project plans to lay 120 miles of fiber optic cable across New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. A Comcast representative said they were looking at developing 80 fiber network projects in 2018.