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Mayor Launches Denver's New Fiber-Optic Network


Friday, September 5, 2003

Lindy Eichenbaum Lent
Emit Hurdelbrink

Mayor Launches Denver's New Fiber-Optic Network

Enormous Benefits for Efficiency and Delivery of City Services

(DENVER) Mayor John Hickenlooper announced Friday, at Comcast's northwest hub, the launch of the City and County of Denver’s new advanced, high-speed communications network capable of delivering data, voice and video to 85 locations over several hundred miles of fiber at speeds 1,000 times faster than previously possible.

The Denver Institutional Area Network Environment, nicknamed DIANE, takes advantage of fiber that ComCast installed as part of the City’s cable franchise agreement. Operating somewhat like a prism, the new technology sends a laser light through the glass fiber. The light refracts into 32 different colors on which data, voice or video can travel together at 5-Gigabit Ethernet speed.

“A good science fiction novel couldn’t dream up this technology, much less offer the reliability and speed of communications among City agencies that the DIANE offers,” said Hickenlooper, noting it is one of the largest networks of its kind in the Western United States. “This network takes the Denver Police, Public Libraries, Public Works, Human Services, Denver International Airport, Arts Complex, the Colorado Convention Center and other agencies that are among the initial 85 locations to a new level of efficiency.”

“This technology enables more data, voice and video to travel together at high speeds on 32 tracks of the same fiber instead of traveling independently on one strand of fiber at lower speeds,” explained Emit Hurdelbrink, director of the Denver Office of Information Technology.

With planning started over four years ago, DIANE’s $6 million price tag over five years will replace the cost of network services by private vendors. Some of the key benefits are as follows:

  • Faster Internet connections to Denver’s 22 public libraries;

  • Will link the Denver Department of Safety to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation

  • Will link Human Services and Motor Vehicle Departments to state resources.
The Denver Office of Information Technology (DOIT) is currently installing remote edge site equipment in the northwest quadrant of the City. All 85 edge sites onto the new City network will be completed in early 2004, providing connections for thousands of City computers and phone services. In addition to Comcast, Cisco and SBC are corporate partners on the project.

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