Arizona Seeks Input on Broadband Expansion Along Highways

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As it advances a state-led initiative to expand high-speed internet across Arizona, the Arizona Department of Transportation is requesting input to inform potential public-private partnerships to install and-or operate broadband conduit along major interstate and highway routes.

Coordinating with the Arizona Commerce Authority, ADOT is exploring partnerships that would lead to the development of fiber-optic infrastructure across Arizona, creating more affordable opportunities for wired and wireless broadband connectivity in rural communities. Respondents have until mid-August to reply. ADOT encourages firms and other stakeholders to respond with information that would lead to a successful future request for proposal to expand connectivity along key interstate and state highway routes.  

“Expanding fiber-optic connectivity along these corridors makes our highways safer and smarter while offering the potential for partners to help make rural Arizona a better place to live and do business,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. 

“This project provides a foundation for significantly enhanced connectivity and tech-enabled infrastructure throughout Arizona, which will be critical for maintaining our state’s competitiveness in the global economy,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President & CEO.

In addition to the benefits to rural broadband connectivity, ADOT plans to use the fiber to provide “smart highway” technology such as overhead message boards, traffic cameras, weather stations and wrong-way driving detection technology. The infrastructure also will help lay the groundwork for emerging technology such as connected and automated vehicles. 

ADOT already has fiber-optic conduit along freeways in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, as well as a stretch of Interstate 10 near Eloy for a pilot dust detection and warning system. 

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