Mike McGinn, Mayor
5/22/2006 1:00:00 PM
D'Anne Mount (206) 233-8736
Seattle seeks partners for unique fiber to the premises broadband network build-out
Tech savvy population provides good market for high bandwidth system
SEATTLE – The City of Seattle today issued a Request for Interest seeking private partners to join the City in creating a competitive fiber to the premises (FTTP) broadband network serving the City, its citizens, businesses and institutions. Such a network would offer very high bi-directional bandwidth, deliver integrated voice, video and data services and would eventually serve the entire city.
"A state of the art technology infrastructure is vital to taking Seattle into the future," said Mayor Greg Nickels. "We are looking for a partner who has the vision and ability to join us in this exciting endeavor."
Seattle is a world center for the software development industry. Home to more than 130 biotechnology firms, a major research university, several regional medical centers, a vibrant film and music culture, and vital transportation and marine industries, Seattle offers a dynamic market for expanding communications systems. An interactive fiber to the premises broadband network would support applications and services to meet the ongoing information, communications and entertainment needs of a large variety of customer bases and serve as a platform for continuing innovation.
"I’m convinced broadband is the wave of the future and that Seattle will be in the forefront of this new technology," said City Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Energy & Technology Committee. "It offers an opportunity for all of us to become part of a global city."
The City of Seattle brings an array of physical assets and other resources to support development of a citywide broadband network, from more than 350 miles of existing fiber to utility poles, rights-of-way, aerial wires and towers, tunnels and conduits, and public land scattered throughout the city. Seattle also offers a tech savvy population of "early adopters." Some 83 percent of residents have a home computer, and 91 percent of those have Internet access; more than 60 percent of Seattleites subscribe to high speed Internet access, compared to the national average of 40 percent. In 2005 Seattle was named America’s most Internet literate city, and Sperling's Best Places and Microsoft recently named Seattle as the top video gaming city in the country.
A volunteer citizen Task Force on Telecommunications Innovation, convened in 2004 by Mayor Nickels and the Seattle City Council, found that today's incumbent landline communications networks represent the early stages of broadband development and will prove to be inadequate for delivering the bandwidth necessary for future advanced services. The Task Force recommended that the City take steps now to ensure that its bandwidth needs will be met. The Task Force report and recommendations are found at http://www.seattle.gov/cable/docs/SeaBTF.pdf.
Responses to the RFI are due by 3:00 p.m. PDT, July 7, 2006. Copies may be mailed to Seattle Department of Information Technology, P.O. Box 94709, Seattle WA 98124-4709, Attn: Ann Kelson, Broadband RFI Coordinator. The RFI and additional submittal instructions may be found at http://www.seattle.gov/broadband.
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