EDISON – Optimum is the only major internet service provider available here, and township officials want to change that.

City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution asking Millennium Communications Group Inc., of East Hanover, to conduct a high-speed broadband feasibility study and business plan, at a cost of $36,750 $.

“Ending Optimum’s monopoly on Edison is a priority,” Mayor Sam Joshi wrote in a Facebook post. The mayor called the city’s broadband study “a step toward internet freedom.”

Joshi touted the need for municipal broadband in the run-up to last year’s election, and this year he discussed it with state and federal officials.

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“The best way to solve our internet crisis is to create our own municipal broadband, where the township would own the fiber optic cables and lease it to a third party to administer the service. This study is the first step in our plan of 18 months to launch much faster, reliable and affordable internet in Edison,” the mayor said.

Joshi explained that Optimum does not have an exclusive contract with Edison and that other ISPs can come to the township, but, he said, they choose not to to keep their respective monopolies.

“Optimum owns and repairs the decades-old copper wire infrastructure. As a result, Edison has no way to hold its abysmal service and price metering accountable. ‘Edison fiber optic infrastructure) would allow us to negotiate terms, prices, speeds and terms to users,’ the mayor said.

Joshi said the township was looking to provide municipal broadband as an alternative, and those who wanted to keep Optimum could.

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Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, the courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.