NOVEMBER 23, 2010 -- Comcast and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) have entered into a fiber-optic network lease agreement that will benefit Colorado residents and Comcast’s subscribers in mountain communities. According to the agreement, Comcast will lease two of CDOT’s existing single-mode, fiber-optic strands along the I-70 Corridor for 20 years, with rights to extend the agreement after the initial lease period.
The agreement will benefit Colorado residents by increasing capacity along 1-70 between Golden and Vail, and allowing Comcast to launch advanced features and services, including more Spanish-language news in mountain communities. This agreement marks the first time CDOT has leased a portion of its network.
The leased fiber runs from approximately Golden to Vail and is part of CDOT’s existing network, which the agency uses for high-speed communications to the CDOT business network. It includes electronic sign message control, traffic camera surveillance for quicker incident response and verification, travel time detection, weather station monitoring, and communications over digital trunk radio--all of which is fed to CDOT’s Intelligent Transportation Systems website (www.cotrip.org) for use by the public, media, and other CDOT partners who provide road and weather information to the public. Comcast is leasing “dark fiber,” or cable that CDOT was able to make available.
"Greater access to technology along the I-70 corridor will benefit all Coloradans," says State Representative Christine Scanlan (D-Summit Cove), who has advocated for expanded high-speed Internet for Colorado's high country and rural communities. "Broader access to high-speed Internet will help boost Colorado's economy, particularly in our rural and mountain communities. Expanded access to high-speed Internet will help our local businesses become more efficient, open the door to e-commerce, and allow folks who currently have to commute long distances the ability to work from home. This is an exciting partnership with no downside. I'm thrilled we got this done."
As part of the lease agreement, Comcast will provide support for this portion of CDOT’s fiber network with maintenance services, including weekly inspection of the network’s “backbone,” replacement of damaged or missing fiber markers, and clearing and cleaning debris from network pull boxes and other access points. The maintenance services provided by Comcast will free up resources for CDOT. The estimated value of this benefit to Colorado taxpayers over the next 20 years is $14.5 million.
“We think of this as a ‘big win’ for Colorado taxpayers and we’re excited about the beginning of a strong partnership with Comcast,” says Russell George, CDOT executive director. “The agreement provides CDOT with a new revenue stream, and because Comcast also is providing professional engineering expertise and support, we’re able to reallocate some of our network maintenance resources to other important transportation projects, which are critical in these tough economic times. This long-term public-private partnership will provide benefits to Comcast, CDOT and the citizens of Colorado.”
With the added bandwidth, Comcast will launch advanced video, Internet, and digital voice services in Colorado mountain communities, including Avon, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Keystone, and Silverthorne. The company anticipates completing the roll out of the new services by spring of 2011.