Civic News
Digital access / Municipal government

City hires broadband consultant as it looks to expand fiber network

On Wednesday, the Board of Estimates awarded a consulting contract worth $157,000 to Magellan Advisors.

Chris Tonjes speaking at Baltimore TechBreakfast in December 2012.

In May we reported that the City of Baltimore was seeking a broadband consultant to help weigh the city’s options in expanding its fiber capabilities with an overbuild of the city’s existing fiber ring.
On Wednesday, the Board of Estimates awarded a consulting contract worth $157,000 to Magellan Advisors, “a broadband Internet and community development firm,” reports the Baltimore Business Journal.
As Technically Baltimore reported, Baltimore’s existing 25-mile fiber ring services the city’s 800MHz public radio system. Expanding Baltimore’s fiber capabilities, including a fiber overbuild that would allow the city to lease extra broadband bandwidth to private Internet service providers, is one of several initiatives being pursued by city CIO Chris Tonjes, who was hired by the city in July 2012.
It’ll be Magellan’s job to “identify costs and risks associated with expanding city broadband infrastructure and ‘identify key anchor tenants’ that would lease portions of an expanded city-owned fiber optic network,” according to the Baltimore Business Journal.
In July the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology established Baltimore City WiFi, a free wireless connection paid for by the city available outside Penn Station.

Companies: Board of Estimates / Mayor’s Office of Information Technology / City of Baltimore

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