broadband: Planning

 

Planning

 

Contact the Connecticut Broadband Coordinator:

Bill Vallee

CT Broadband Policy & Programs Coordinator

Office of Consumer Counsel

10 Franklin Square

New Britain, CT 06051

860-827-2905

William.Vallee@ct.gov 

 

 
 
Information on Connecticut Municipal RFQ Seeking Partners to
Develop Gigabit Internet Networks in Their Communities
 
 
CTGig - Municipal Fiber Network Project
 
On September 15, 2014, a collaboration of Connecticut municipalities issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting information and partnerships with potential providers to create Gig networks in their communities.  Forty-six municipalities have joined the RFQ with the aim of soliciting information from potential providers of financing, fiber network construction and management, and Internet service providers of retail services.  It is hoped that this effort could lead to the issuance of RFPs to create public-private partnerships resulting in open-access fiber networks in many Connecticut municipalities providing a variety of competitive Internet-based services to residents, businesses, and community anchor institutions.
 
RFQ Documents:
 
 
For further information about this project, contact:
 

Bill Vallee

CT Broadband Policy & Programs Coordinator

Office of Consumer Counsel

10 Franklin Square

New Britain, CT 06051

860-827-2905

cell 860-716-7177

william.vallee@ct.gov

www.ct.gov/OCC

 

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Residents, businesses, and municipalities in Connecticut are demanding cheaper, faster, more reliable Internet services because such services are an essential tool for high-tech industry, bioscience, health care, education, and any other industry or business that works with large amounts of data.
 
The current average Internet speed in Connecticut of 9 megabits per second (Mbps) is too slow for many current needs and applications, and hinders progress, growth, and innovation in numerous areas, including business, education, and e-government.
 
Other parts of the country (and other parts of the world) are seeing the development of ultra-high-speed gigabit “Gig” networks of 1000 Mbps with prices of $70/month or lower, but there are none in Connecticut and only two municipal Gig networks being developed in New England.
Industry and government have successfully created public-private partnerships to develop Gig networks in other states.

The RFQ has three goals:
 
* Create a world leading gigabit capable network in targeted commercial corridors as well as in residential areas with demonstrated demand in order to foster innovation, drive job creation and stimulate economic growth.

* Provide free or heavily discounted 10-100 MB (minimum) Internet service over a wired or wireless network to underserved and disadvantaged residential areas across the territories and diverse demographics.

* Deliver gigabit Internet service as prices comparable to other gigabit fiber communities across the nation.
 
* Prospective companies must submit their applications by January 15, 2015. This RFQ presents an opportunity for Connecticut to remain at the forefront of broadband technology.
The RFQ process does not involve any legal or financial commitment on the part of a municipality. The municipalities intend to be infrastructure and policy partners only, contributing in-kind assets and support, and do not intend to act as retail service providers or network operators.
 
The RFQ, with instructions for submitting a municipal referendum, is available online at http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/PurchasingBureauOnline/index.asp. (Note that a user may sign on with a phone number in lieu of a tax ID number).

Relevant documents, including the RFQ, Addendums of the three cities, a press release, and recent news articles, can also be viewed at the Office of Consumer Counsel’s website at www.ct.gov/occ .
 
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In November 2014, the original state strategic broadband plan has been updated to reflect how the recommendations suggested have or have not been implemented since December 3, 2011:
 

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In December 2011, the State Broadband Policy Coordinator produced a comprehensive study (the CT Guidelines) of the status of and proposed enhancements to expand high speed Internet services in Connecticut .  Funded by a $4 million grant to the state by the US Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), together with a statewide broadband data and MIS mapping project from 2011-14, the GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF BROADBAND STRATEGIC PLAN - RELEASE DATE 123011, presents recommendations for expanding access to and adoption of broadband services based on the findings of a blue ribbon committee, focus groups, surveys, and extensive research:

 

Given that broadband technology is an enabler that significantly advances the ability of Connecticut’s residents, organizations and businesses to communicate, learn, work, create, consume, access services, and recreate, it merits serious state attention. The recommendation regarding creating formal communication among existing policymakers places greater emphasis on broadband policy with the development of the broadband cabinet. This will help increase communication and coordination between state agency leaders that can impact broadband policy with other state policymakers. The establishment of a broadband goal provides direction for policymakers and helps establish Connecticut as a broadband leader.

In order to be a global leader in broadband capacity, Connecticut must ensure that the state maintains a competitive environment for broadband providers and remains attractive for continued investment. Streamlining the pole attachment and cell-tower siting processes will ease the burden for providers in the market. Furthermore, since open access to the CEN is required as part of receiving ARRA funding, explore opportunities for municipalities to connect to the network and for providers to offer service to the network.

Finally, although Connecticut does have some of the highest broadband access rates in the nation, there are segments of the population that lack broadband connections due to factors such as lack of interest or understanding of the need for an Internet connection as well as the cost of technology and broadband service. Therefore, the proposed recommendations hope to increase access rates by leveraging existing resources by working within the existing infrastructure of nonprofits and organizations that assist low-income residents.





Content Last Modified on 12/17/2014 6:39:56 PM