Fiber Optic Master Plan Deployment
The City was seeking a solution to municipal broadband deployment that could be accomplished with minimal internal funds as a way to enhance connectivity and operational efficiency. HR Green staff worked together on various phases of traffic signal interconnect, 60 miles of fiber optic deployment, technology core, sensor deployment, and broadband development. Over a five- year period, HR Green staff led a comprehensive, citywide effort, including assessment and feasibility analysis, design, construction, and ongoing operations. The work completed during this period created Colorado’s first large-scale municipal open-access fiber-optic network. During the same period, HR Green staff wrote and received numerous federal and CDOT grants worth millions of dollars to install conduit, fiber, and hardware to upgrade the City’s traffic signal system. In addition, our staff developed and managed a fiber optic collocation program that created a citywide network of fiber-optic infrastructure at little to no cost to the City. Our staff reviewed, helped design, and approved the first-ever citywide wireless antenna network. In another instance, the City gained free street lighting in exchange for allowing the provider (New Path Networks and Verizon) access to its infrastructure.
This nationally-recognized initiative delivered more than 60 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure throughout the City, including much of the Denver Tech Center. Spending only $600,000 of City funds, the resulting network has been valued at over $20 million. Perhaps more importantly, the network is now within one-half mile of more than 95% of the city’s 106,000 population, 55,000 jobs, and more than 3,000 businesses in the vicinity of the Denver Tech Center.
Under the plan now being deployed, this network is poised to become one of the nation’s largest municipal gigabit-speed broadband deployments via a Public-Private Partnership (P3) model with TING Networks now deploying Fiber-to-the-Premise based on the infrastructure backbone HR Green staff (Dave Zelenok, John Merritt, Mike Connor) helped create.
In addition to structuring private sector partnerships, our staff integrated and expanded assets for Arapahoe County and the City of Centennial, installing conduit and fiber optics between each government’s facilities.
This guaranteed that the County had fiber-optic access on all City projects in the eastern area of the city and into the county beyond. This access plan included the future ability to connect the county’s traffic signals from east of E-470 and into Douglas County near Highlands Ranch.
In Centennial, we have worked collaboratively with Arapahoe County to combine City and County conduit in developing a comprehensive, integrated fiber optic and conduit system to benefit both agencies and build critical traffic signal and weather station systems. We have also helped procure millions of dollars in funding, including grants and in-kind services from CDOT, six local agencies, the private sector and the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) to purchase and install wireless and fiber-based communications equipment including conduit, fiber optic cable, data radios, cameras, and “smart city” sensors and detectors including vehicle tracking, traffic management, and congestion mitigation systems throughout the City.
In 2017, much of the Smart Cities work pioneered by HR Green staff with Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2015 contributed to an even larger “Smart Cities” proposal submitted by the Denver region and funded by the US Department of Transportation to advance these Smart Cities technologies.
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