Connecting state and local government leaders
Arizona's expansion of the middle-mile network will make it easier to extend high-speed access to communities along the interstates.
Arizona announced a $68.1 million investment to bring high-speed internet access to residents by expanding its middle-mile broadband infrastructure. The next phase of the program tackles Interstate 40 West from Flagstaff to the California border.
According to the Arizona Broadband Statewide Middle-Mile Strategic Plan released last month, 91% of state's unserved or underserved households reside within a five-mile radius of one of Arizona’s interstates or state routes.
The strategic plan called for establishing points of presence in all major population centers along the interstate highways and select state routes so that local governments, electric co-ops and telecom providers can offer "affordable, reliable, and high-speed internet services to unserved / underserved communities" and support future connectivity needs, including intelligent transportation systems and public safety initiatives.
The state’s work on I-17, I-19 and I-40 West will begin the process of connecting these households with the internet, officials said in the announcement.
On May 10, 2021, Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation aimed at expanding broadband access that allows private broadband providers to install, operate and maintain telecommunications equipment within the Arizona Department of Transportation's rights-of-way. It also allows ADOT to grant private telecommunications companies access to the state’s broadband conduit, reducing their cost of installing rural broadband infrastructure.
In Pennsylvania, the Turnpike Commission is building out a fiber optic network along part of the highway to boost PTC's own bandwidth and connectivity to support advanced telecommunications and mobility applications. The commonwealth plans to make the extra fiber capacity available to internet and telecom network providers, municipalities and educational institutions and area businesses that want to expand their service areas and customer reach with more direct, low-latency routes across Pennsylvania.