- Board approves ConnectArlington policy, license agreement, rate structure
- Increased dark fiber capacity to offer higher quality technology services. security for Arlington businesses, institutions, and federal agencies
- Key economic development tool
- Available in coming months
The Arlington County Board today took a key step as it moves into the homestretch of creating a technology infrastructure that is unparalleled in the region. Guided by an adopted policy statement, license agreement and rate structure, the County is poised to begin using ConnectArlington as an economic development tool within the next six months.
The Board voted 5-0 to approve the policy statement which will guide the next phase of ConnectArlington as it brings high-speed “dark fiber” to the County’s commercial corridors as well as a standard license agreement that should expedite business access at reasonable rates.
The County will own and maintain the 10-miles of dark fiber – the so-called “middle mile,” and will license its use to interested parties, who will be responsible for connecting the fiber to offices, businesses, and apartments in Arlington. The route traverses the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, Glebe Road, Columbia Pike and Crystal City. A key requirement of the policy is that the “middle mile” must connect to businesses located in Arlington.
- View a Map of ConnectArlington
“This is an exciting step forward in Arlington’s plan to be a technological hub in our region,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Arlington’s strategic investments are building a technology infrastructure second to none, that will help us attract the businesses of the 21st century. Just as Arlington had the foresight to insist that Metro be built under the heart of our commercial corridors, it had the foresight, when building ConnectArlington, to build in additional capacity to meet future needs – for our businesses and County government.”
County will own, maintain main corridor of fiber
Under the licensing agreement, the County will own and maintain the “middle mile” and licensees will be responsible for final connections, also known as the “last mile” of fiber, to individual buildings and businesses. Interested businesses will work directly with licensees to connect to the high-speed fiber.
Dark fiber has the capacity to offer the highest levels of speed, redundancy, security and affordability for the overall telecommunications infrastructure in the County’s commercial corridors. Based on market research, the presence of this tool at an affordable rate is expected to enhance Arlington’s desirability as a location for the most technologically advanced businesses and entrepreneurs. As the number of businesses expand, the County’s investment in ConnectArlington is expected to lead to additional tax revenues from businesses that choose to locate or remain in Arlington because of this infrastructure.
The County has begun installation of the 864 strands of dark fiber for ConnectArlington and work is expected to be completed by autumn 2015. The expansion of ConnectArlington is expected to cost $4.1 million. Of that amount, $1.6 million was funded in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 adopted budget, and $2.5 million will be part of the FY 2016 PAYG (“pay as you go”) proposed budget. Operating expenses are estimated to be $700,000-$800,000 annually. Based on conservative estimates, over the life of the project, revenues will pay back these investments and operating costs.
Arlington County Government originally developed ConnectArlington to connect all of the County’s facilities and the public school system with high-speed broad band technology delivered through underground dark (dedicated) fiber. Currently, ConnectArlington fiber is used solely for government purposes, including the Intelligent Transportation System – a project to replace the copper wire-connected traffic signals with fiber optics to enhance traffic management and Public Safety Radio Ring, a project using underground fiber for transmission of public safety emergency dispatch in response to 911 calls.
While working on these other projects, Arlington had the foresight to install additional underground capacity to meet future needs. This capacity will be made available under the new form license agreements.