FastRoads intends to build an open access middle mile and last mile network that aggregates demand for the entire region, including community anchor institutions, large and small businesses, government offices and agencies, and residents. The routes built with stimulus funds will provide middle mile fiber to 22 communities and 220 community anchor institutions in the Fast Roads region, and two last mile projects will provide fiber connections to approximately 1300 businesses and residents in Rindge and Enfield, where many residents are still limited to dial up Internet access.
The open access business model and network equipment being used by FastRoads is time-tested: Danville, Virginia’s nDanville community open access project has successfully used this approach for its network since 2007, and the very rural Wired Road regional community open access project has been using this approach since early 2008--prices for Internet access in the Wired Road area have declined by as much as 70% because five service providers are currently competing for customers on the Wired Road network.
The FastRoads network will be managed by a qualified private sector firm with demonstrated experience managing wide area networks, and outside plant maintenance will be provided by qualified private sector firms. Network operations and outside plant maintenance contracts will be bid out using an open bidding process. The FastRoads network will be designed to support a carrier class, fully redundant, self-healing core backbone capable of handling any bandwidth requirements needed by higher education, health care, businesses, and local government, including DWDM lightpaths and GigE, 10GigE, 40GigE circuits and beyond.
Middle mile services delivered to CAIs in the FastRoads service area will be transported via fiber provided by the UNH middle mile backbone. FastRoads will install network equipment in local communities to provide off-ramps to deliver open access services to the CAIs.
Last Mile Projects
Two census block groups in Enfield and Rindge, New Hampshire were chosen as the locations for last mile pilot projects. FastRoads will build a world class fiber to the premises FTTP network. Every residence that receives a connection will have access to any provider on the FastRoads network.
In other FastRoads communities critical infrastructure will be installed to provide standard 100 megabit and even gigabit connections to Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) including schools, libraries, government entities, public safety institutions, healthcare institutions. In addition to serving CAIs the infrastructure installed will be able to also serve business parks and large employers. Incremental and regular investments can, over several years, provide substantial improvements in telecom infrastructure. The FastRoads middle mile infrastructure project will provide the initial footprint that FastRoads needs to expand on its own with the vision of providing a connection to any business or residence that requests it, in any FastRoads community.
The core network consists of a collapsed fiber ring consisting of two 10Gigabit Ethernet links between the two largest equipment locations (Hanover colo and Keene colo) and multiple Gigabit Ethernet links between the equipment locations and one or both of the largest equipment shelters (Hanover and Keene). A minimum of Gigabit Ethernet is used between core routers on the network and capacity can be increased when traffic needs demand. The new fiber middle mile construction by UNH will consist of 288 fiber single mode cables. FastRoads will have IRUs for 48 strands of fiber on the portion of the UNH fiber in the FastRoads territory.
FastRoads middle mile and FastRoads last mile switches will be placed 24 locations. FastRoads will have an additional IRU for 12 strands of fiber on the rest of the UNH network. This capacity will be used to create a fully redundant ring in the future. Service providers attach their servers and inject their services onto the network at pre-defined switches attached to the core network at the Hanover or the Keene colo facilities. Once a service has been defined in the network management system, the service can be automatically provisioned and delivered to any connected customer anywhere on the FastRoads network.