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Zayo Granted $153 Million for Middle Mile Initiative in Nevada

Press Release

Zayo will lead an expansive open access, fiber optic network project to bring network accessibility to over 40,000 underserved locations

BOULDER, Colo., June 24, 2024  – Zayo, a leading global communications infrastructure provider, has been selected by the State of Nevada to build, operate, maintain, and commercialize the state’s new Middle Mile Network project. Zayo will construct over 800 miles of the open-access, fiber optic network backed by funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology (OSIT) to provide robust broadband access to unserved and underserved communities with routes through Reno and Las Vegas.

Project overview: 

  • The project encompasses two major routes:
    • The US 93 Route through Las Vegas with an investment of $43.5 million from the NTIA Middle Mile Grant Program and $43.5 million funded by the Nevada Department of Transportation. 
    • The I-80 Route through Reno with an investment of over $66 million funded by the Department of Treasury Capital Project Funds and the State of Nevada. 
  • The routes will connect over 40,000 unserved or underserved locations, including households, schools, libraries, community buildings and more. 
  • The public-private partnership between Zayo and the State of Nevada enables unique revenue-sharing opportunities that would not otherwise be available, enabling Zayo to operate, maintain, and commercialize the route to ensure the long-term sustainability and economic viability of the project. 
  • Given the growing importance of Reno and Las Vegas as major AI data center hubs, the project will also fortify connectivity between the markets with more bandwidth for faster and more efficient AI processing.

“Lack of reliable internet access puts communities and businesses at a severe disadvantage when it comes to entrepreneurship, employment, healthcare and education. Zayo’s work in the Nevada Middle-Mile project will help bridge the digital divide in these underserved areas,” said Bill Long, Chief Product & Strategy Officer at Zayo. “In addition, as Reno and Las Vegas emerge as major data center hubs, these two new routes will also enhance connectivity in these areas to support increased bandwidth needs. Together, the project will support profound societal and economic transformation for the State of Nevada.”

The routes will be built with Zayo’s new Digital Equity Access Network (DEAN) architecture which enhances rural connectivity by lowering the barrier to entry for rural ISPs to build last-mile infrastructure by providing pre-provisioned, dedicated fiber backhaul and competitive IP pricing that matches metro market rates. The new architecture includes multiple interconnection points pre-built into the network, making connecting to our middle-mile more affordable for ISPs.  

“I am thrilled to partner with Zayo to reach the State’s goal of every Nevadan having a high-speed internet connection that is affordable and reliable. The Zayo team has the right competence and expertise to execute this important project,” said Brian Mitchell, Director of OSIT. “OSIT is building a statewide open access middle mile network to bring better connectivity to underserved communities. This network will connect community anchor institutions and critical State infrastructure and facilities and provide reliable, affordable upstream bandwidth options to potential BEAD applicants.”  

This grant marks the latest middle-mile grant win for Zayo. Earlier this week, Zayo also celebrated the groundbreaking of its NTIA-funded Oregon-California-Nevada route—one of three projects awarded to Zayo as the sole national provider recipient of the NTIA Middle-Mile Grant Program.

To learn more about Zayo’s middle-mile efforts, visit: https://www.zayo.com/digital-equity/

To learn more about the Nevada Middle Mile Network, visit: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/339765dfab624307a477b63408dd3724

About Zayo

For more than 17 years, Zayo has empowered some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies to connect what’s next for their business. Zayo’s future-ready network spans over 17.5 million fiber miles and 144,000 route miles. Zayo’s tailored connectivity and edge solutions enable carriers, cloud providers, data centers, schools, and enterprises to deliver exceptional experiences, from core to cloud to edge. Discover how Zayo connects what’s next at www.zayo.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Disclaimer:This communication was prepared by Zayo Group using funds under award 32-40-MM339 from the National Telecommunications and InformationAdministration (NTIA), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NTIA or DOC.