Private Sector Responds to Conn. Munis Seeking Partners for “GiG” Networks

  • CTgig Project
NEW BRITAIN, CT – Eleven private sector businesses and industry representatives have each filed responses to a request from many of the state’s municipalities looking for partners to develop ultra-high-speed gigabit “Gig” Internet networks, dubbed the “CTgig Project,” in their communities. Gig networks deliver Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) or 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps), more than 100 times faster than the average home speed of about 9 Mbps.

The respondents are:

  1. Fibertech Networks

  2. Frontier Communications of Connecticut

  3. Lightower Fiber Networks I

  4. Macquarie Captial USA

  5. Netaccess Futures

  6. The New England Cable and Telecommunications Association

  7. Nova NextGen Solutions

  8. SiFi Networks

  9. Spot On Networks

  10. Tilson

  11. Veloz Broadband


Over One Hundred Municipalities Expressing Interest in Gig Opportunities

The content of the responses is confidential. However, Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz, whose office is helping coordinate the effort with municipalities, says that the scope and breadth of the responses is very encouraging: “We received some very serious, thoughtful responses from some well-respected players in the telecommunication industry. We also have municipalities from all over the state who are looking to be part of the dialogue – I’d estimate we have at least 100 municipalities who are interested in exploring gigabit opportunities.”

Katz said that one of the main challenges is organizing and coordinating responses and dialogue with such a large number of towns, and that a statewide framework and point of contact should be considered. “Given the number of interested municipalities, combined with the number of industry heavy hitters who responded, I believe it’s time to consider whether statewide options can be developed through a state point of contact that offers options to every municipality is the best framework. My goal is to create an option that is available to any municipality that wants to opt in.”

An Open-access Model to Drive Competition and Innovation

The RFQ sought input on the creations of gigabit fiber networks to foster innovation, drive job creation, stimulate economic growth and serve new areas of development in the communities that participated in the RFQ process. It sought an “open-access” model that allows any Internet service provider to use the network to provide service to customers. This would help assure a robust competitive market throughout each market as multiple providers would have equal network and market access to every potential customer in the state.

Ben Barnes, secretary of policy and management, echoed the statewide vision. “Our goal should be to become the first state that has ultra-high-speed-gigabit networks available from border to border. This public-private partnership is part of the infrastructure necessary for Connecticut to compete for the high tech jobs of the future — and grow our economy. Connecticut can and should be on the cutting edge of the new economy and this project helps us get there.”

Next Steps

Next steps for the CTgig Project will be to evaluate the responses, coordinate information among the municipalities and project leaders, and develop options for a framework to interact with the respondents and potential partners.

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