Quest for fiber: Huntsville seeks bids for high-speed net project

Quest for fiber: Huntsville seeks bids for high-speed net project

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The City of Huntsville took a giant step Wednesday toward its vision to providing high-speed internet services through a city-wide fiber network.

The goal of the "Gig City" initiative, led by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, is to provide Huntsville businesses, residents and institutions access to high speed fiber Internet at or above 1 gigabit per second, up to 200 times faster than the national average.

Wednesday, the city announced the release of a request for information for one or more partners to provide that service to Huntsville.

"We have reached a point where fiber networks are as essential to our infrastructure as water, sewer, and roads," said Mayor Battle. "If Huntsville is to remain a technological leader in this hyper connected global world, we must be able to offer broadband access that can accommodate the growing demands of business, research institutions, entrepreneurs, residents and public safety."

The city has retained CTC Technology & Energy, a national communications and information-technology firm, to help develop a plan for Huntsville to provide high-speed broadband through a public-private partnership.

"Huntsville is well-positioned to attract one or more private partners willing to provide network services using public or private, partner-built fiber infrastructure," Battle said.

The request for information, or RFI, is released for the purpose of developing an optimal solution for the city's high-speed broadband needs, incorporating usage by businesses, educational and medical institutions, as well as providing cost-effective services for customers with price-sensitive issues.

"We want to understand the partner's approach and past performance for kick-off, marketing and execution in other communities, and how a partner will tailor its prior experience to meet the city's unique needs," representatives for the city said Wednesday.

All interested service providers are being invited to respond. The deadline for responses is April 24.

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