46 Cities Join Effort to Develop Gigabit Broadband Networks in Conn.

  • CTgig Project
  • Gig.U
HARTFORD, CT — A consortium of state municipalities seeking to bring gigabit broadband networks to Connecticut announced that 46 Connecticut municipalities, representing 50 percent of the state’s population, have joined the effort for Connecticut to lead the nation as the first gigabit state through public-private partnerships.

The request for qualifications (RFQ) issued last September seeks information and dialogue with interested parties to increase access to ultra-high-speed gigabit networks in a consortium of municipalities throughout Connecticut while simultaneously reducing the cost of such networks for businesses, high-tech industry, universities, homeowners and other users. The RFQ invited Connecticut cities to join the CTgig Project, resulting in the current group of 46 municipalities for this phase of the project.

State Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who helped launch the CTgig Project, said, “The initial release of the RFQ stimulated a significant number of inquiries by potential providers. With the increase in the number of communities participating, the economics for the providers will improve, making this project more attractive and Connecticut an even more attractive state for economic development.”

Increasing Competition in the Internet Access Market
William Vallee, State Broadband Policy Coordinator, pointed out that “The RFQ expressly seeks financing to be invested by the potential fiber network builders and Internet service providers expected to respond to the RFQ on January 13, 2015. Neither the state nor the municipalities will be investing funds in the networks or Internet service provisioning, but the municipalities will contribute in-kind assets and support.” Vallee stated that “the RFQ seeks to increase competition in the Internet access market to boost the currently low levels of access speeds available in Connecticut and reduce the exceedingly high rates compared to peer states and other nations charged by the incumbents. That said, incumbent telephone and cable operators are logical respondents since they are already providing Internet service across the state, and they are, of course, encouraged to respond to the RFP.”

State of Connecticut Enacts Supportive Legislation

The state of Connecticut has enacted very favorable laws and regulations opening the public rights of way (PROW) to broadband providers, including:

  • Statewide regulatory authority over attachments and equipment in the PROW, with minimal municipal regulation or fees

  • A reserved attachment position on all utility poles, with no rental fees for use the “municipal gain” for any purpose

  • A Single Pole Administrator process to streamline management and costs for all attachers, including a statewide PROW scheduling management database

  • Strictly enforced and rapid Make Ready deadlines

  • Equitable pole attachment rates base on the FCC Formula


Blair Levin, executive director of Gig.U (a consortium of over 30 leading research university communities seeking to accelerate the deployment of next generation networks across the U. S.), who also led the writing of National Broadband Plan and advised the Office of Consumer Counsel on this project, noted “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.”

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