In an effort to identify the state owned and managed assets that could potentially help expand broadband access and capacity in Colorado, OIT has been working to create a GIS based statewide broadband asset inventory. While we are still in the middle of this process we are excited to communicate the progress that has been made.
Our initial focus has been to identify and inventory tower assets managed by OIT and fiber assets managed by CDOT. Within OIT, we have been working with our statewide Digital Trunked Radio System (DTRS) team that managed the public safety network to identify the state owned tower assets. At the same time, we have been working with the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) group within CDOT to integrate their existing data as well as partnering to identify additional assets.
While we are making progress towards creating a usable database, we have not yet formed the necessary use policy that will accompany the inventory. Many of the assets that are managed by the state are used for public safety and other critical infrastructure purposes, and we must ensure these functions are protected in any type of policy that is developed. We have started to review other state policies related to these issues and will begin working towards a formal policy soon.
It is also important to note that in regards to towers, the state does not necessarily own all towers that are currently used for state purposes. Many are owned by counties, municipalities or the federal government. While OIT cannot influence the potential use of these assets we can help facilitate discussions with the entities who do own then. For example, OIT has been working to coordinate efforts in Lake County with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), who owns some of the towers used by the state in that area.
We often are asked “What about private assets?”. We have had conversations with the private carriers on this topic and the response is varied. We have some carriers who are willing to contribute their data to this effort while others believe such information is proprietary and critical to their competitive advantage. We intend to respect all perspectives regarding these assets and will be working with those carriers who wish to participate.
Though we have made progress towards our ultimate goal, we realized there is still a lot of work to be done. We understand the significance of this effort and are committed to developing the best possible end-product that will help reach our broadband goals. Our next major goals are: