Los Angeles to award fiber network contract

Los Angeles to award fiber network contract

By STEPHEN HARDY

The City of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency will award a contract this month for a fiber-optic backbone network that will connect the city`s four major civic center complexes. The contract represents the first award under a 30-month master request for proposals (MRFP) aimed at upgrading the city`s communications infrastructure.

The new Four Civic Centers Network will link the Downtown, West LA, San Pedro, and Van Nuys civic centers in an OC-48 4-fiber bidirectional line-switched ring network. The city has requested that Synchronous Optical Network nodes be installed at City Hall East, the West LA Municipal Building, San Pedro City Hall, and Van Nuys City Hall as part of the build-out. For purposes of comparing proposals, the city will assume that the OC-48 terminal low-speed interfaces will consist of four OC-12 interfaces.

The project comprises a fiber-optic backbone network and civic center connections. The backbone links will contain a minimum of 144 singlemode fibers, 36 of which will be reserved for city use. The civic center connections will contain 36 singlemode fibers for the city. The unused fiber and facilities will be leased to the private sector "for the delivery of reasonably priced, advanced telecommunications services across a widespread geographic area of the city," in the words of the statement of work. The network will contain a mix of existing city resources and new fiber installations.

Bids for the project closed Feb. 18. The award is expected to be issued March 18, with construction of the network slated to conclude within eight months of the contract signing. The city estimates that the network will cost between $23 million and $24 million.

Only approved bidders who have responded to the city`s MRFP are being considered for the award. The city released the MRFP on Jan. 7; the MRFP will remain open until mid-2001. The document covers the Four Civic Centers Network, an upcoming Hollywood fiber-optic network, and other unspecified projects. The city expects that all of these developments will overbuild fiber-optic capacity and facilities along routes that connect existing city facilities. In each case, the city will own the network and retain 36 fibers for city use. The remaining fiber will be leased to the private sector in a revenue-sharing arrangement. However, the city does not expect to set prices for the leased capacity, nor does it wish to operate as a service provider.

Vendors interested in participating in the MRFP process should contact Jim Crain, City of Los Angeles, Information Technology Agency, 200 North Main St., City Hall East, Room 1400, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Copies of the MRFP and statements of work can be found on the city`s Web site, www. lacity.org.q

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