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Forty-six Connecticut municipalities, representing 50% of the state’s population, have joined the effort for Connecticut to lead the nation as the first gigabit state through public-private partnerships.
“With this effort, Connecticut cities are again where they have been in other turning points in our country’s history: ahead of the curve and well-positioned to reap the benefits of the information age economy.” Blair Levin, Executive Director of Gig.U.
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. Over 40 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.
For further information about this project, contact:
CT Broadband Policy & Programs Coordinator
Office of Consumer Counsel
10 Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051
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.
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