Phoenix: a conduit for telecom
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Mar 04, 2001
Phoenix will soon lead the charge to create a 32-mile fiber-optic loop to
expand service for telecommunications providers and enhance economic development.
Two city departments — Community and Economic Development and Engineering
and Architectural Services — will develop legal agreements with four telecom
providers that have agreed to help fund the $13.6 million project along
the Interstate 17 corridor in north central Phoenix.
The providers — McLeodUSA Inc., Adelphia Communications, AmeriCom and
XO Communications Inc. — intend to buy 11 conduits out of the planned 16-conduit
trench, said Patrick Grady, director of the Community and Economic Development
The companies would pay 50 percent of the costs before the start of
construction and 50 percent after completion. Grady said the city would
issue a request for proposals and submit final bids to the city council
by late August or early September. He said the city also would explore building
a 24-conduit trench. The project is estimated to take 12 to 18 months to
Some providers were concerned about the city leasing conduits, thereby
entering the telecom business. But Grady said the city would sell the remaining
conduits to telecom companies.
"We're providing a focal point to enable telecom providers to come together,
reduce their costs and thereby enhance both capacity and service," he said.
"We're simply — pardon the pun — the conduit, the facilitator for making
Although Grady said Phoenix ranks among the top 20 U.S. regions for
number of tech firms, his department will expand to focus on retaining and
attracting technology firms.