Baltimore Strategizes to Build its own FTTH Network

  • Magellan Advisors
BALTIMORE - After years of unsuccessfully petitioning both Verizon and Google to build a fiber network, the city of Baltimore has developed a new strategic plan that includes building its own fiber network, according to an article in the Baltimore Business Journal.

The city has hired Magellan Advisors, a broadband Internet and community development firm, on a $157,000 contract to create a number of options for allowing the city to expand its existing fiber network. The city's new CIO Chris Tonjes is leading the project as part of the mayor’s Office of Information Technology.

The city is renewing its cable franchise agreement with Comcast through 2016, making Comcast with its bundled TV/Internet services the city's exclusive cable provider. Under the agreement Comcast has no obligation to upgrade its own network.

The city currently has a fiber ring, a 30-mile fiber network that supports the city's public access safety system. The city is considering overbuilding the fiber ring to add capacity that would allow the city to lease extra bandwidth to the private sector.

An additional challenge that Magellan and Tonjes need to address is how to bring high-speed Internet to the underserved areas of the city that can't be accessed through the existing fiber ring.

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