Rep. Hunt Seeks Support for Alternative Internet Pilot Program

SANDWICH – Sandwich State Representative Randy Hunt is looking to give Cape Cod residents another option when it comes to Internet service.

Currently, Comcast is the only provider of residential internet in the county and Verizon is unwilling to expand across the canal because the population isn’t large enough to incur the costs, according to Hunt.

Hunt has filed an amendment to the House budget to create a pilot program to connect OpenCape’s fiber optic network to homes.

OpenCape is a nonprofit organization, which provides internet services through a fiber optic network to towns and large data users like research facilities.

According to Hunt, the network has the capacity to handle the entire world’s internet traffic, multiple times.

“I think that we can make strides and I know that people are tired of having only one option and every month when they look at their bills they just can’t believe how much money they are paying for that one option,” Hunt said.

The state has already invested $5 million in the OpenCape network and $40 million total has been invested by state, federal and county governments, along with private partners.

“Given the quality of OpenCape’s existing infrastructure, its potential, and the investment we have already made, there is no reason why customers should still have to kowtow to a de facto monopoly,” Hunt said.

Hunt said connecting the network to homes could be done wirelessly and still provide 1 gigabit download speeds, which is six times faster than the 150 megabit speeds offered by Comcast.

The amendment filed by Hunt would include $225,000 in the next fiscal budget to develop the program.

“I need letters from people supporting Amendment #523 to the budget,” Hunt said.”

Letters of support can be sent by email to Hunt’s aide, Matt Liber, at matthew.liber@mahouse.gov or sent by mail to State House, Room 136, Boston, MA 02128 and address it to Randy Hunt.

All responses will be bundled and hand-delivered to the House Ways & Means committee before budget week, which begins on April 24.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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