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RCN Metro to build Mass. broadband backbone

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 7:30am
Mike Robuck

RCN Metro Optical Networks will build, design and operate a 350-mile fiber-based broadband backbone on behalf of OpenCape.

OpenCape snagged $32 million in broadband stimulus money, which it is using to have RCN Metro build the network that will run from the South Coast of Massachusetts onto Cape Cod and surrounding islands.

RCN Metro, a division of RCN Corp., was selected in a competitive bid process last July to design, build and maintain this regional open access network as part of a public-private partnership.

"We are very happy for the OpenCape Corp. and the residents of southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands," said Felipe Alvarez, president of RCN Metro Optical Networks. "RCN Metro's unique expertise in designing, building and operating middle-mile, high-speed optical networks will ensure communities in this region have reliable access to the highest-quality telecommunications services available now and for the next 50 years."

The OpenCape project, which is slated to be finished in phases over three years, consists of a core fiber backbone that connects Cape Cod to two of RCN Metro's major regional network access points in Providence and Brockton, a high-capacity optical transport system, a microwave radio overlay and a regional colocation center.

The OpenCape colocation center will serve as the focal point of network operations and will provide leased colocation space for public and private organizations in the region.

"OpenCape is thrilled to be a stimulus grant recipient. Cape Cod and the Islands are in desperate need of a ubiquitous, reliable, redundant and cost-competitive telecommunications infrastructure," said Dan Gallagher, president of OpenCape Corp. "When we first conceived this project, we knew we needed to identify an experienced private operating partner to perform the complex technical network construction and operation. RCN Metro emerged as the ideal partner for this project based on their deep experience designing, building and operating highly successful middle-mile networks."

Initial services on the network include dedicated point-to-point SONET and Ethernet from 1.5 Mbps to 10 Gbps, switched Ethernet services from 1.5 Mbps to 10 Gbps, wavelength services from 1.25 Mbps to 10 Gbps, and Internet access, with the network designed to be able to support additional capabilities required to meet the future needs of the communities.

Last Friday, RCN announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by investment fund Abry Partners for $1.2 billion.

More Broadband Direct 3/12/10:
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•  Denied! Comcast, Cablevision lose access appeal
•  SeaChange promotes Kanouff to president, announces layoffs
•  RCN Metro to build Mass. broadband backbone
•  Massillon Cable TV gets into security services
•  Exfo buys cellular T&M company
•  VeriSign to spend more than $300M on tech upgrades 
•  Feds pledge tough review of Comcast-NBC deal
•  AT&T CEO accepts bonus; pay rises to $20.2M
•  Broadband Briefs for 03/12/10

 

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