2 Gateway Center in Newark — Courtesy: C&K Properties
By Joshua Burd
An office tower is downtown Newark is the proving ground for a new program that gives city residents and businesses access to the highest-speed, commercially available fiber optic internet in the region.
The building, 2 Gateway Center, is the first commercial building to participate in the program known as Newark Fiber, which takes advantage of infrastructure previously installed by data and telecom providers. The result is a public-private partnership among the city, fiber carriers, internet service providers and network managers.
For buildings such as 2 Gateway, a 780,000-square-foot Class A tower owned by C&K Properties, tenants have the opportunity to access to the high-speed internet for between roughly $100 and $500 per month. A news release from the city and C&K said fiber optic connections typically cost upwards of $3,000 per month.
“We’ve long seen that companies seek out office space based largely on the quality of a building’s infrastructure and connectivity,” said Kevin Collins, managing partner of C&K Properties. “With the launch of Newark Fiber, the city is continuing to evolve as a true tech hub, and 2 Gateway is more than delighted to be a part of this renaissance.”
Newark Fiber utilizes a 10-gigabit fiber backbone running under the city streets, which offers 1,000-megabit and 10,000-megabit connections available to businesses and people accessing the internet through Wi-Fi in parks, on the streets and, eventually, in homes. The opportunity stems from the vast network of previously “dark” or unused fiber within the city, which was installed by telecom providers such as Verizon who used Newark as a data hub on the Northeast Corridor.
In the program’s first phase, Newark Fiber will be made available to commercial buildings and apartment complexes, the news release said. Building owners will pay a one-time connection fee and the businesses connected will pay monthly.
“In this high-tech world, businesses need high-speed internet to stay in touch with their customers and to stay ahead of their competitors. Newark Fiber does just that,” Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said in a prepared statement. “We are offering low-cost, high-speed service to make sure that Newark-based businesses not only thrive, but lead the way.
“Business owners looking to relocate or open a new office location should just come to Newark. You can’t get gigabit internet service at these low prices anywhere in the New York/New Jersey region, except here in Newark.”