On Cape Cod, upgrades come by the megabyte, Rob Anderson, Boston Globe, August 12, 2012
OpenCape ‘champion’ stepping aside, July 13, 2012, Robert Gold, Cape Cod Times
Fiber-optic network streaming toward completion, Robert Gold, Cape Cod Times, July 12, 2012
The OpenCape Newsletter
OpenCape is moving into its permanent offices! The OpenCape Regional Collocation Center general renovation is nearly complete. OpenCape is moving into its offices in the renovated building. Thanks to the generosity of the Cape Cod Commission we have been occupying space in their building for nearly two years. Thank you to Paul Niedzwiecki and his entire staff for their hospitality.
We have installed nearly 100 miles of fiber – to include the vertical lift railroad bridge across the Cape Cod Canal!
This Newsletter will provide you with more detailed information about the status of the project. We appreciate your continued support and involvement and hope to keep you informed as we continue moving forward toward on time and on budget completion of the project.
Dan Gallagher, CEO
Fiber Optic Network Construction
The first of two crossings of the Cape Cod Canal was completed this week. Two 288 strand fiber cables were attached to the Army Corps of Engineers’ vertical lift rail road bridge at the south end of the Canal from Buzzards Bay to Bourne, MA. Rope access technicians attached the cable to bridge abutments and laid it within catenary trays on either side of the bridge. Observing this work underway by technicians high above the waters of the Cape Cod Canal was thrilling.
OpenCape has received necessary authorizations from the Army Corps of Engineers and Verizon New England has prepared space within an existing conduit of the Sagamore Bridge for the placement of OpenCape’s fiber in the near term, thus concluding the second crossing of the Cape Cod Canal.
OpenCape has installed nearly 100 miles of aerial backbone fiber optic cable to date. We hope to build an additional 125 miles of backbone fiber during the summer. Because the Massachusetts Department of Transportation does not permit work on roads under their jurisdiction between Memorial Day and Labor Day on Cape Cod the bulk of our summer work will be off Cape from Plympton, MA to the Cape Cod Canal, and from the Canal to Fall River, MA. We will complete some isolated sections of backbone where work can proceed on Cape Cod without disrupting heavy summer traffic. Lateral construction will begin to Community Anchor Institutions and laterals to towers that will host the microwave public safety backup system will also be constructed during the summer.
Underground components of the project include leasing existing Verizon conduit and installing new conduit in the existing right of way. Over 50% of all Verizon conduit licenses have been received and the remainder are in the latter stages of make ready prior to licensing. New construction and placement of conduit is underway, with over 50% of all new conduit placements complete.
Microwave Public Safety Backup System and 700Mhz Mobile Public Safety System
OpenCape has received five of the eleven licenses it requires for implementation of the Microwave Public Safety Backup System. Receipt of the remaining required licenses from Truro, Orleans, Harwich, Yarmouth, Cotuit, and Falmouth is anticipated in the short term. Once licenses are received the civil engineering begins for each site to support filing of special permits with town planning boards. Simultaneously a study is completed to ensure the frequencies to be used by OpenCape will not conflict with any other radios in the area. This process results in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license for the frequency that OpenCape will use on each tower.
OpenCape is preparing each tower site to host a 700Mhz mobile public safety system in the future. In February, President Obama signed legislation that creates the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, within the National Telecommunications Information Agency (NTIA) to oversee the establishment of a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network. The legislation also allocated $7 billion to building the system. Barnstable County, in conjunction with local chiefs of police and fire, is working closely with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) to ensure that Cape Cod is one of the first communities to receive a 700Mhz implementation.
Regional Collocation Center
The development of the OpenCape Regional Collocation Center has two components. The first is the general renovation of the building to current building codes. The second is to construct a Collocation Data Center on the ground floor of the building.
OpenCape’s construction management contractor, Stateside Construction, has nearly completed the general renovation of the Regional Collocation Center. OpenCape will occupy its offices on the first floor this week. The Barnstable County Strategic Information Office will occupy the second floor by August 1, 2012. We are very excited about the potential for the Strategic Information Office and OpenCape to work collaboratively in developing aggregated services and shared applications for local governments and school districts using the Municipal Regional Area Network that OpenCape is creating for the communities of Cape Cod and the Islands.
The ground floor level data center construction is continuing as the space is prepared, electrical power upgraded, generator procured, etc. IBM provided support to OpenCape in the engineering and design of the Data Center. OpenCape issued an RFP for the construction and operation of the Data Center for which responses are due by July 20, 2012. Installation of chilled water systems, power distribution units, and racks will follow the selection of one of the RFP respondents.
The SmarterCape Summit II in May, 2012 was a tremendous success with 500 registered participants. The SmarterCape Partnership of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Cape Cod Commission, Cape Cod Technology Council, Cape Cod Economic Development Council, and OpenCape Corporation shaped an event focused on action with exceptional speakers and working sessions that were productive in moving the SmarterCape Vision forward. The leaders of the Partnership continue to meet weekly to further advance this concept.
The SmarterCape Partnership played a key role in the award of a Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grant of $500,000 from the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance for a proposed regional Permit, Licensing, and Inspection project. The digital regionalization project will establish an automated system for all towns to issue municipal permits, licenses, and inspection services on Cape Cod and Nantucket to reduce costs and improve customer service. The funded project is part of the larger “SmarterCape Initiative” to advance economic development and government efficiency through technological innovation.
The SmarterCape Partnership is preparing a summer marketing campaign to communicate to our part-year residents and visitors the many positive actions our community is taking to advance further its culture of creativity and spirit of entrepreneurship. We are an energized community of creative people moving affirmatively to fully engage in the 21st century economy and we owe our part-year residents an invitation to join us year round in this exciting movement.
OpenCape welcomed Gary Farrenkopf to its staff this month to assist in certifying the completion of work performed by contractors. Gary brings a wealth of telecommunications experience and knowledge that will serve OpenCape well.
OpenCape posted a vacancy announcement to fill its Chief Executive Officer position. The current CEO, Dan Gallagher, has long planned a transition to consulting and semi-retirement in the fall of this year. Dan will leave the project in excellent shape as it transitions from construction to operation, and will remain available to aid in BTOP grant closeout or other activities should his help be needed.
OpenCape is fully engaged in construction with the full expectation that it will complete the project on time and on budget in January, 2013. Increasingly we think about, discuss and prepare for the operation of the system and establishing a sustainable operation with positive cash flow as quickly as possible.
OpenCape network crosses the Cape Cod Canal this week, Cape Cod Today, June 21, 2012
How to make the Cape smarter, Robert Gold, Cape Cod Times, May 15, 2012
“Faster Internet coming to Cape businesses, Nonprofit promises end to frustratingly slow Web,” Sarah Shemkus, Boston Globe, May 1, 2012
Cape Cod, Mass., Moves Forward with Broadband Network, Government Technology, Tanya Roscorla