The Hopatcong Council introduced an ordinance Wednesday that if approved would allow a company to install a data-only fiber optic cable on existing poles along borough streets, part of a statewide information superhighway.
The installation has the potential to make the borough more attractive to companies that rely on high-speed data lines for their business.
The company, Cross River Fiber NJ, Inc. has approval of the state Board of Public Utilities to install the wiring as long as local approval is granted.
Cross River representative Fred Brody said that the company is installing “basically a highway” to which other companies can purchase the right to use. Essentially, he said, Cross River is running the cable from “Point A to Point B” and companies can purchase leases to use the cable.
He said the cable, called “dark fiber” is as thick as his forefinger and carries 64 separate lines. It is not designed to carry cable television or telephone service, but is a data-only line. Potential uses, he said, are for hospitals, corporate offices, stock trading companies and larger government operations like county governments supplying emergency dispatch services, for example, that manage their own data systems.
Borough attorney John Ursin said several Sussex County towns have approved the installation, and that in Newton it has attracted the interest of private companies.
It is the type of installation that could be attractive to new companies that need high speed, high volume transmission lines, Ursin said. Having the cable pass through Hopatcong could make the borough more attractive to such companies, he said.
Mayor Sylvia Petillo said approval of the ordinance would only allow Cross River to operate in Hopatcong. The company would still need to negotiate separate agreements with the owners of the utility poles in the borough to which Cross River would attach its cable, such as the telephone companies, cable television companies, and electric power utilities.
A public hearing on the ordinance will be held on June 5.