Arlington County Board Approves Contract to Connect Initial County, Schools Sites to Fiber Optic Broadband

  • Project to bring faster, more reliable fiber optic system
  • Initial 50 County, Schools sites to be interconnected
  • Finished system will bring 21st century technology into all APS and County government locations

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Arlington County Board today approved a $5.37 million contract to build the fiber that will connect the first 50 County and Schools facilities to the fiber optic network approved in January 2011 by the Board. The overall project, ConnectArlington, replaces a deteriorated, low-capacity system installed as part of the cable franchise agreement more than 20 years ago. ConnectArlington will create a fiber optic broadband network designed to meet growing needs for data, video and voice communication services for both County and Schools facilities.

“It is exciting to see our County's telecommunications system for the 21st century begin to become a reality,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “ConnectArlington is a technology backbone investment that will yield great benefits for Arlington's students, residents and visitors for years to come. It will provide a safe, reliable, secure system that expands Arlington's communications capacity and speeds up the transfer of information.”

Expanding County technology capabilities

When completed, ConnectArlington will expand the technology capabilities of Arlington County classrooms and bring next-generation public safety services and traffic management to residents and visitors. The system will create a hardened, resilient telecommunications network to meet current and future County and Schools technology needs. By increasing bandwidth, ConnectArlington will facilitate media streaming, video-conferencing, distance learning and one-on-one programs that offer 24/7 learning through internet-enabled devices. It will significantly improve the management of traffic and public transportation and enhance communications for public safety emergency response.

The Board voted 5 to 0 to approve awarding the contract to the following contractors: Jones Utilities Construction, Inc., KCI Convergent Technologies, Inc., N to N Fiber, Inc., and Southern Maryland Cable, Inc.

To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item 16 on the Regular County Board Meeting Agenda for Saturday, October 20, 2012.


ConnectArlington is a collaboration between County government and Arlington Public Schools to provide a robust, expandable and interconnected telecommunications network for County government and APS. It will replace a combination of County-owned facilities, lines leased from commercial providers and a fiber network made available by Comcast under the terms of its cable franchise with the County.

The first phase of ConnectArlington is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013. Pending funding, the second phase, which will interconnect the remaining County and Schools facilities, is expected to be finished in the fall of 2015. Ultimately, the County will build and own about 60 miles of fiber optics throughout Arlington, saving potentially millions of dollars in commercial user fees. The project will also modernize the County's traffic signal network and provide a resilient backbone for the Public Safety Radio Network.

To learn more about this project, funding, and how it will enhance traffic operations and assist Public Safety agencies, read the new web reference.

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.