Vail Valley: Comcast leases fiber optic lines from state agency |

Vail Valley: Comcast leases fiber optic lines from state agency

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado

Comcast, which provides cable TV and other services to the eastern half of the Vail Valley, and the Colorado Department of Transportation have announced a first-of-its-kind fiber optic network lease agreement. The agreement lets Comcast lease two of the transportation department’s existing single-mode fiber optic strands along the Interstate 70 Corridor for 20 years, with rights to extend the agreement after the initial lease.

The agreement will benefit Colorado residents by increasing network capacity along I-70 between Golden and Vail, and will allow Comcast to launch advanced features and services, including more Spanish-language news, in mountain communities. This is the first time the transportation department has leased a portion of its network.

The leased fiber is part of the transportation department’s existing network, which the agency uses for high speed communications including electronic sign message control, traffic camera surveillance, travel time detection, weather station monitoring and more. That information is fed to the department’s website,

Comcast is leasing “dark fiber,” or cable that the state agency was able to make available.

“Greater access to technology along the I-70 corridor will benefit all Coloradans,” said State Representative Christine Scanlan. “Broader access to high-speed Internet will help boost Colorado’s economy, particularly in our rural and mountain communities.”

As part of the lease agreement, Comcast will provide support for this portion of the 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 access points. 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,” said Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Russell George. “The agreement provides 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.”

With the added bandwidth, Comcast will launch advanced video, Internet and digital voice services in mountain communities along the interstate. The company expects to complete adding those services by spring of 2011.

-“We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership,” said Amy Lynch, Comcast Vice President of Field Operations for the mountains. “The launch of our most current technologies in Summit and Eagle counties means that we’re able to provide the country’s best entertainment and communications services more ubiquitously across Colorado.”

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