January 21, 2019 News Release

PA Turnpike Commission to Forego Public-Private Partnership for Fiber Optic Network

The Commission will pursue other options for communications network.

HARRISBURG, PA. (December 21, 2018) The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) announced today that it has ended its pursuit of a Public-Private Partnership (P3) for a system-wide fiber optic network and will instead advance other options to address the agency’s data and communications needs.

“Our goal was to reduce the significant cost of building this network. At the end of the day, however, we determined that the P3 model would not deliver the savings we need to see to continue down this path,” CEO Mark Compton said.

The decision follows a procurement process which began in 2016 and generated substantial interest from a wide range of potential partners.

This P3 initiative was launched when the state’s Public-Private Transportation Partnership Board approved a proposed P3 for the construction of the network. Under the potential P3, a private development partner would have installed a fiber optic broadband network across the Turnpike’s 552-mile system.  In addition to the Commission’s direct contribution, the partner would have the ability to commercialize a portion of the system and generate revenue in support of the project.

In September of 2017 six teams expressed interest in the project and submitted statements of qualifications. In December 2018 three of the shortlisted teams submitted formal proposals. While these proposals demonstrated that the network could generate commercial revenue, none of the proposals were deemed responsive.

The Commission will address its future communications needs by utilizing a combination of leased lines and its existing microwave network west of Harrisburg and constructing a new fiber optic network east of Harrisburg using a Design/Build procurement model. Advertisements for the Design/Build projects will be issued and publicly procured. The decision to change paths will not impact any Commission initiatives.

“The Commission remains committed to developing a state-of-the-art network that helps us to achieve our mission to ensure safe and reliable travel across our system,” said Compton

Carl DeFebo 717-831-7176