City approves telecommunications network deal

The Auburn City Council on Monday granted TW Telecom of Washington LLC a franchise agreement that will allow it to build and operate a telecommunications network within the City's rights of way.

Upon completion of the project, company leaders have said, they plan to offer integrated data services, dedicated Internet access and provide local and long distance voice services to their commercial customers.

The proposed franchise area encompasses all rights of way in the City, as TW Telecom will lease facilities from CenturyLink and other telecom companies throughout the City to provide service. The company asked for the entire City to be its franchise area so that future installation of its facilities may be accommodated without having to amend the agreement for each installation.

The City code requires such a franchise of any commercial utility, telecommunications operator, carrier or other person who wants to occupy public ways and provide telecommunications or commercial utility services to any person or to any area in the city.

Exact locations, plans, engineering and construction schedules are to be reviewed, approved and managed through the City's permitting processes.

"It's a telecommunications network within the City of Auburn," said Councilman Wayne Osborne. "Primarily, it will be using Century Link and other communication companies to provide their dedicated data service, dedicated Internet access and their long-distance voice communications to commercial customers."

In other action, the Council set a public hearing date of 7:30 p.m., June 16 on the 2015-2020 Transportation Improvement Plan. State law requires that cities prepare such a plan every year for the following six calendar years to ensure that they have advance plans available as guides in carrying out a coordinated street construction program.

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