GDOT Broadband Deployment Project Moves Ahead
Wednesday, February 21st, 2018
Georgians throughout the state are one step closer to benefiting from expanded 511 NaviGAtor service, as well as establishment of the backbone for high-speed internet and enhanced telecommunications, especially in rural areas.
On Feb. 16 the Georgia Department of Transportation posted a Public Notice of Advertisement for the Georgia Interstate Broadband and Wireless Deployment P3 Project. Requests for Information in fall 2017 yielded 21 responses from interested parties.
The primary goal of the project is statewide expansion of GDOT’s NaviGAtor traffic management system, which would bring safety benefits across Georgia. It is also a first step towards bringing high-speed internet to all Georgians.
The project employs asset recycling—the use of existing assets—to creatively fund infrastructure at no cost to taxpayers and at no additional government debt. It specifically uses existing right-of-way along interstates across Georgia.
The use of existing ROW for this project has vast potential for Georgia. It would improve safety by enhancing internal GDOT communications and communications with citizens by using technology to feed information to signs from cameras on interstate highways across the state. This is especially important during inclement weather and natural disasters when the more roadway information GDOT can provide about incidents, power outages and debris, the safer it is for drivers.
“The future has a fiber optic connection and this project puts Georgia in an advantageous position as an early adopter of connected and autonomous vehicle technology,” said Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, P.E. “Improved safety, high-speed internet in rural areas, and looking towards the future – all at no cost to taxpayers. That’s a win-win for everyone.”
GDOT anticipates that the endeavor will consist of a contract with a private partner—potentially for a duration of up to 25 years—to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a broadband fiber optic cable and small cell wireless network along 1,300 miles of GDOT right-of-way on interstates across Georgia. The contract would include managing and maintaining the current and future GDOT broadband fiber optic network, future wireless antennas and support structures. While reserving capacity for GDOT and the state’s current and future broadband and wireless needs, it would also allow the private partner to lease the utilization of the network to third parties for commercial activities.
The Department intends to conduct an Industry Forum on April 30, 2018, to provide interested potential partners with information about delivery goals, anticipated project scope, the procurement process and potential risks. There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the forum and a limited number of one-on-one sessions will be available on Apr. 30 and May 1. To schedule a meeting, email GeorgiaP3Broadband@dot.ga.gov.