Zayo brings dark fiber to north-central Texas schools, leverages existing FTTT investment

Zayo Group has won a new dark fiber and IP services contract with the Texas Education Service Center Region 11, furthering its strategy to leverage and extend existing fiber to the tower (FTTT) builds.

For this project, Zayo will extend services to the area schools via a fiber network build that's under construction in Dallas-Fort Worth. Specifically, the 1,178-mile platform consists of 440 miles of previously planned FTTT build, 443 miles of existing network and 295 miles of new construction.

Texas Education Service Center Region 11 serves more than 600,000 students and educators in north-central Texas. The new network will be funded by Region 11's significant upfront investment in the project.

Zayo's dark fiber network will connect 122 locations in 77 school districts across a 10-county area in north-central Texas. As part of the agreement, area schools will also get access to 100G IP connectivity.

Region 11 is one of the first educational districts to use E-Rate funded dark fiber. John DiLacqua, director of the K-12 & E-Rate segment for Zayo, said the region's decision to go with dark fiber is "a forward-looking decision that will give them the ability to increase bandwidth as they need it."

New changes to E-Rate by the FCC has enabled school districts to get access to E-Rate funded dark fiber solutions.

Under the FCC's E-Rate order that was issued in 2015, the regulator amended the eligible services list to support the equal treatment of lit and dark fiber services. Local school districts are able to purchase either kind of service depending on their specific needs via an FCC Form 470 application.

As part of that process, the FCC requires any applicant that issues RFPs for dark fiber to seek bids for lit services like wavelengths over the same time period. Additionally, applicants have to include network equipment and maintenance costs associated with lighting dark fiber in the same application with the dark fiber lease. 

Besides this latest win, Zayo has implemented E-Rate-funded solutions in Colorado, Georgia, California, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas, Utah and Washington. 

For more:

- see the release

Related articles:
Zayo, Mitel target Canadian business with new cloud-based offering
Zayo sees dark fiber dollars in content providers, data centers, and school districts
Zayo's Caruso: Tower backhaul tenants provide FTTT, enterprise upsell opportunities
Zayo Group says it's on track to reach 3M net installs by the end of 2016