Connecticut communities combine for gigabit broadband RFQ

The mayors of New Haven, Stamford, and West Hartford, CT, along with state officials, have announced a joint request for qualifications (RFQ) for the development and provision of gigabit broadband networks. They’ve also invited other state communities to join the party.

Sep 16th, 2014

The mayors of New Haven, Stamford, and West Hartford, CT, along with state officials, have announced a joint request for qualifications (RFQ) for the development and provision of gigabit broadband networks. They’ve also invited other state communities to join the party.

The RFQ seeks to promote the deployment of gigabit broadband access infrastructure in "targeted commercial corridors" as well as residential areas "with demonstrated demand." The group is open to both wired and wireless approaches, with the expectation that underserved and disadvantaged areas would receive free or at least heavily discounted 10 to 100 Mbps services at a minimum. The price for the gigabit services should be commensurate with what other gigabit communities in the U.S. have on offer.

The officials currently involved include New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp, West Hartford Deputy Mayor Shari Cantor, Stamford Mayor David R. Martin, state Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford), state Comptroller Kevin Lembo, and Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz.

"As soon as we started the conversation about gig networks, we heard from businesses, universities, high-tech startups, mayors, and first selectmen – really such a variety of stakeholders – about how greater Internet speeds at lower costs are essential to their functioning," Katz said. "We knew it was an important economic development tool, but we’ve learned gig networks are also essential for medicine, precision manufacturing, education, e-government – just so many different people in different sectors are clamoring for gig networks."

"It's time we tear down the walls to gigabit Internet access in Connecticut," said Sen. Bye. "Not only will businesses and universities thrive, but consumers will benefit from the lower prices and wider access that this initiative will create. We have the will and I believe we have the ability to make this happen for Connecticut."

The RFQ is "open" in that other communities can join the process by attaching an addendum. The City of New Haven, home to Yale University, will administer and coordinate the RFQ. The officials say the RFQ will be available at ct.gov/occ and http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/PurchasingBureauOnline/index.asp. At the time of this article’s writing the RFQ info had not yet been posted.

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