46 Connecticut Cities Drive Broadband Economic Partnerships

State of CT map

Forty-six Connecticut municipalities, representing 50% of the state’s population, have joined the effort for Connecticut to lead the nation as the first gigabit state through public-private partnerships.

Called the CTgig Project, the State of Connecticut Consumer Counsel’s office has been coordinating with local municipalities on a process to reduce the cost of deploying ultra-high speed gigabit networks for use by businesses, high-tech industry, universities and homeowners in the state. A Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) was issued in September, which sought  information and dialogue with interested parties to increase access to ultra-high-speed gigabit networks. The RFQ invited Connecticut cities to join the CTgig Project, resulting in the final group of 46 municipalities for this phase of the project.

“We’re thrilled that so many cities have joined the effort,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.  “This clearly demonstrates a high demand by cities for next-generation infrastructure to drive economic growth and social progress thru the entire state.”

According to William Vallee, State Broadband Policy Coordinator, “…neither the state nor the municipalities will be investing funds in the networks or Internet service provisioning, but the municipalities will contribute in-kind assets and support.”   Vallee stated that “the RFQ seeks to increase competition in the Internet access market to boost the currently low levels of access speeds available in Connecticut and reduce the exceedingly high rates compared to peer states and other nations charged by the incumbents.”   That said, incumbent telephone and cable operators are encouraged to respond. The deadline for the RFQ is January 13, 2015. The RFQ seeks financing to be invested by the potential fiber network builders.

“With this effort, Connecticut cities are again where they have been in other turning points in our country’s history: ahead of the curve and well-positioned to reap the benefits of the information age economy,”  noted Blair Levin, Executive Director of Gig.U.