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Planet Networks Broadband May Come to Monty

Barbara A. Preston | October 6, 2022

Montgomery Township Committee heard a presentation recently from Robert Boyle, the founder and CEO of Planet Networks — an Internet service provider.

Boyle said his company provides high-speed fiber Internet to “hard to reach” places. “Almost everyone has heard of Verizon Fios, which is the gold standard,” he said. “We use the same technology. We’re just not Verizon.”

It is hard to believe, but a portion of Montgomery still does not have access to high-speed Internet, and some areas have no Internet at all.

Planet Networks is a New Jersey-based company that is expanding its services throughout the state.

Montgomery residents have cited prohibitive setup costs as one obstacle. Some say they have been asked to pay $15,000 just for a company to run cable to their homes.

Boyle says his company offers “reasonable pricing” and quick service, and his company is interested in Montgomery Township. His lowest pricing is $59.95 per month. There is no cost to the township.

New Jersey is a “licensed communication carrier” state, which means: its communications carriers are overseen by the NJ Board of Public Utilities. So carriers, such as Planet Networks, has the ability to attach to existing telephone poles, and to access municipal rights of way.

“If we ask, a municipality in New Jersey has to grant us access to the municipal right-of-way,” he said.

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Planet Networks, was founded as Garden Networks in 1994 in Newton, New Jersey to provide Internet access and services to a small and under-served rural community from the garage of an old firehouse with only three modems.

The company is currently laying fiber in Warren and Sussex counties. They are expanding to Hunterdon and Somerset counties.

“We look at the competitive landscape and make a decision,” Boyle says. “It’s weird how Verizon will build FIOS in part of a town, but not the rest of the town.”

“Like in Montgomery,” Mayor Devra Keenan said.

Boyle said, “We will build in areas where they have not built.”

Stay tuned. ■


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