Hamburg approves fiber-optic network

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The borough council approved the running of “dark fiber optic cable” on existing infrastructure throughout the borough after a follow-up presentation from Cross River Fiber’s Fred Brody at Monday night’s Borough Council meeting.

After his original presentation last July, Brody didn’t have enough project details to satisfy Mayor Paul Marino and his council, who questioned where in the borough the fiber would be installed. With an ultimate goal to end up in Newark and without cooperation from any towns between there and Hamburg, Marino said it seemed like Brody “threw a dart at a map” to determine where he began his presentations.

This time, Brody came prepared, showing a map of the larger network — which now is approved to run through Vernon, Lafayette, Newton, Andover and Hopatcong, in addition to many out-of-county locations. Brody also announced that he is close to getting acceptance from Hardyston.

Brody apologized for his lack of answers at the original presentation, saying Marino was “one of the first mayors in the area to respond to our request.”

What it does
Dark fiber, Brody explained, is for commercial use only and serves to “connect companies that use a lot of bandwidth.” It differs from lit fiber in that there is no service provided with the installation.

“It’s an economic development-type thing,” he added, which “could potentially drive development” in the borough.

Businesses standing to benefit from the installation range from hospitals and radiology centers to banks and data centers, so long as they are “sophisticated enough to light [the fiber] themselves.”

Marino looked to the possible future benefits to the borough.

“From a technological standpoint, it sounds like a bigger picture sort of thing,” he said.

After a unanimous vote for approval, Borough Attorney Richard Clemack advised he will draw up a final resolution containing specific conditions for the installation for the May 5 meeting.

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