Company inks 10-year deal with city

Telecom firm will pay franchise fee to city

Zayo Group, a communications infrastructure provider, has inked a 10-year deal with the city of The Dalles to “construct, operate, and maintain a fiber-based service facility.”

“Several months ago, Zayo Group contacted city staff requesting that the city consider granting a franchise for the installation of a fiber-based service facility,” said Gene Parker, attorney for the city of The Dalles.

“The franchise ordinance proposed for Zayo includes an emergency clause, as they desire to get their fiber system installed in a portion of West 6th Street, which is scheduled to undergo reconstruction in the first part of May.”

Parker added that Zayo will pay a franchise fee equal to 7 percent of its gross income from their expected new customers. The fees will be dedicated to the city’s street fund.

“Zayo’s customers are carriers, enterprises and large government, education and health care organizations,” explained Shannon Paulk, director of corporate communications for Boulder, Colo.-based Zayo.

“Our solutions include fiber bandwidth connectivity, data centers and cloud infrastructure.”

Paulk added that Zayo does not provide service directly to consumers, but provides infrastructure to many of the carriers that do.

“The build is for a large global enterprise customer that needs a dark fiber network along the Hood River corridor for data center connectivity between Portland and Umatilla,” said Paulk.

“Zayo was selected because of our ability to meet the company’s needs for high-performance, low-latency fiber.”

“Zayo is an exciting addition to The Dalles’ capacity to provide a high-speed fiber network,” said Mayor Steve Lawrence.

“It will provide redundancy for Google, and it is a satellite provider of services to Google.”

Lawrence pointed out that one of the city’s goals has been to attract vendors to Google to locate here, and this deal will make that objective much more likely to occur.

“It just gives us more capacity,” he asid.

It’s not just Google that will benefit from the fiber-building project, however. Once the project is complete, businesses, hospitals, universities and governmental entities in the area will also be able to purchase services on the new network for high-capacity connectivity.

“Everything gets faster every day,” said James Crooker, Vancouver, Wash.-based area director for Zayo’s Pacific Northwest operations.

“Fiber can carry more data, and Zayo is able to provide a much more economical and reliable solution.”

On April 10, the city council approved the Zayo franchise with a 5-0 vote. The deal includes a stipulation that the contract will be open to renegotiation after five years.

“This is actually a non-exclusive franchise designation,” Paulk said. “The need for the non-exclusive franchise is to govern a telecom’s use of the city’s public streets.”

She said the franchise arrangement will serve to protect and preserve “the integrity and quality of the streets” by ensuring that Zayo will repair any damages caused by installation of the facilities, or by maintenance and repair operations.

Crooker said the first phase of Zayo’s projects in The Dalles vicinity will be connecting the town to Umatilla with a fiber network.

After that, The Dalles will be linked to Portland.

According to Paulk, long-haul dark fiber builds like the one Zayo plans to extend east and west from The Dalles can take two to three years to fully complete.

Zayo, which began operations in 2007, has a “fiber backbone” that includes more than 126,000 routes miles across North America and Europe, and owns and operates more than 40 data centers across the globe.

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