Zayo upgrades Forth Worth, Texas municipal network with dark fiber

Zayo Group recently won a $15.6 million, 12-year contract by the City of Fort Worth, Texas, to supply it with dark fiber service to satisfy the growth of its network, reflecting the trend of municipalities working with third parties to build a network foundation to support bandwidth-intensive applications.

The service provider began construction on the first phase of the two-year project and plans to connect six core city locations by the middle of this year. Upon completion, the network will connect over 50 of the city's facilities along a 411-mile network and will feature a diverse core ring and 64 laterals to connect to outlying facilities.

Building this network is not a big stretch for Zayo as it will be using a 2,000-mile fiber-to-the-tower (FTTT) network currently being built for a major wireless operator in Dallas.

Texas has been a key network buildout target for Zayo. The service provider also operates fiber networks in Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

While a number of municipalities have and will continue to build out their own last-mile and middle mile networks, Fort Worth's partnership with Zayo illustrates the potential advantage of reducing costs by leveraging another provider's existing network facilities.

Randy Dunbar, senior vice president of metro dark fiber at Zayo, said in release that while many municipalities are looking to upgrade their network facilities to support mission-critical emergency operations they are forgoing building their own own networks, which are complex and expensive projects, by "leveraging Zayo's infrastructure."

Zayo is not the only provider that's touting itself as a partner to municipalities.

FairPoint Communications, an ILEC that is traditionally not an advocate of dark fiber, says that it is also trying to sell its fiber-based services to local municipalities that need higher speed services -- something an established provider can offer in place of a city or town footing the expense to build their own network.

"Increasingly, the decision to leverage existing infrastructure or build new infrastructure will be based on examining bandwidth needs, costs, technology lifecycles, and maintenance and customer support requirements," said Chris Alberding, VP of product management at FairPoint, in an e-mail to FierceTelecom about emerging service provider trends. "Through these reviews, it will become more apparent to localities that managing network facilities is a complex, costly proposition in the long term that doesn't capitalize on their core strengths. Municipalities may also find that existing infrastructure, or existing infrastructure with minimal upgrades, can deliver the same benefits for less cost."

For more:
- see the release

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