Internet-service company Ting continues to expand its presence in Centennial, recently celebrating the opening of a “data center” that will help spread its super-fast internet into new cities, according to one of Ting's local officials.
“Ting continues to grow, thus bringing more jobs to the community. The data center houses over 20 employees working directly in the Centennial neighborhoods,” said Mark Gotto, the company's city manager for Centennial.
Ting Internet, a division of tech company Tucows, first introduced its fiber internet to Centennial in 2018 and has been expanding service to more local residents and businesses, according to a news release. Internet that works via fiber-optic cable brings faster speed than other types of internet service.
A data center is a large group of networked computer servers typically used for the remote storage, processing or distribution of large amounts of data.
Ting held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 19 for the Ting Data Center, which sits along Broncos Parkway near Potomac Street in central Centennial, near the Dove Valley area.
Ting is in negotiations with several cities around the south metro area to expand its “high-speed internet footprint,” said Gotto, a former Centennial city councilmember.
Here are a few things to know about the data center and Centennial's fiber infrastructure.
The opening of the data center allows customers to access the internet faster, according to Gotto.
“It also strengthens our 'redundancy' — if one fiber path goes down, we now have another path,” Gotto said.
The data center has been operational since the beginning of the year, but Ting officially received the certificate of occupancy at the beginning of July, Gotto said.
Fiber communication generally works by sending beams of light down thin strands of glass or plastic, contained in a casing and running underground.
In 2013, Centennial voters chose to opt out of a state law passed in 2005 called Senate Bill 05-152, which barred local governments from providing telecommunications services to residents or businesses. At the time, Centennial had a roughly 42-mile “backbone” of fiber-optic lines in many city streets to operate traffic-control signals.
After kicking off construction in 2016, the city completed roughly 50 additional miles of fiber lines around December 2018. The project to build the new fiber in Centennial officially started in 2014. Centennial undertook the effort to provide improved services to city facilities, residents, businesses, schools and other facilities that serve the public.
That fiber system first ran through the middle of the city — roughly from Interstate 25 to Jordan Road — and then expanded through Centennial's east and west parts.
Ting builds its own local fiber network in certain neighborhoods by connecting to the city's fiber system, and it was the first internet provider to use Centennial's fiber system.
Ting installed fiber-optic internet service for its first official residential customer in Centennial in September 2018.
Ting offers up to 1-gigabit service, which is 1,000 megabits per second speed for download and upload — performance that's impossible on cable and telecommunications networks that share bandwidth among large numbers of customers, according to Ting.
Asked how large Ting's service area is in Centennial, Gotto said more than 65% of Centennial has access to Ting internet.
“We will move that to over 75% by the end of the year. Our hope is to be completed with the entire Centennial footprint by June of 2022,” Gotto said.
Ting offers service in other parts of Colorado, too: Ting was brought to the Roaring Fork Valley area by Garfield County over 10 years ago, Gotto said.
“We have been building fiber between Aspen to Parachute and on down to Durango and New Mexico,” Gotto said. Ting serves “anchor institutions” such as school districts, 911 dispatch, and the municipalities of Aspen, Carbondale and Rifle, Gotto added.
Since construction began in 2016 on the city's newer 50-mile fiber backbone, the City of Centennial has executed fiber leases with Ting Internet, Unite Private Networks, SEAKR Engineering and Cherry Creek School District.
Asked who else the city might sign contracts with to allow them to use the city's fiber backbone in the future, Allison Wittern, city spokesperson, said: “We look forward to working with city businesses, internet service providers, community anchor institutions and government entities.”
SEAKR Engineering is a Centennial-based aerospace manufacturing company.
Unite Private Networks provides fiber-optic communications infrastructure services to schools, governments, carriers, data centers, hospitals and enterprise business customers, according to its website.
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