Seeking faster internet for Sussex County

NEWTON. Internet speed in Newton is close to two-thirds slower than the average speed for the rest of the state. Newton's robotics team is is holding an open forum Thursday, July 25 from 7-9 p.m. in hopes of finding solutions as they discuss the issue iin

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  • Newton High School students Matt Kuever and Noah Logan spoke with U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer in April about the problems with  the county’s slow internet speed. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

  • Newton High School student Edward Holder showed  U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer some of the robotics team’s work at  Newton High School during an April visit.

The average internet download speed in Newton is almost two-thirds slower than the average speed in New Jersey and less than half the national average speed.

To help spur Sussex County forward to gain high speed internet service, the Newton FIRST robotics team is assembling an open forum Thursday July 25 from 7-9 p.m. to discuss the issue and find solutions. All are invited to attend the event at Newton High School Auditorium.

If a business is considering setting up or expanding a 21st-century operation, or someone wanted to relocate to an area with the ability to telecommute using their home internet connection, they would look other than in Sussex County because of the county’s poor internet speed, according to Newton High School technology teacher Jim Hoffman.

In April, the Newton FIRST varsity robotics team hosted U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Students showed him the slow speeds most experience in Sussex County. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Newton FIRST robotics team agreed to gather data on the internet in Sussex County and beyond, inform legislators of the findings, and engage the public and local media.

Representatives from the key Internet Service Providers (ISPs), including Planet Networks, SECTV and CenturyLink will be among those in attendance at the July 25 open forum at Newton High School.

Newton High School teacher Jim Hoffman hopes all will attend the forum. Including ISPs, electricians, electrical supply companies, excavators, fiber optic technicians, IT staff, administrators, Town managers, Mayors, legislators, engineers, planners, business owners, builders, developers, realtors, investors, grant writers, chambers of commerce, high tech manufacturers, police, fire, EMS, sheriffs, OEM, millennials, local news media, and concerned citizens.

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