California’s Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative (MMBI) is a statewide program to create open-access, middle-mile network infrastructure to bring high-speed broadband service to unserved and underserved communities. This project is part of the larger body of 39 projects grouped into 18 locations that comprise the initiative’s scope.
This MMBI pursuit was the second for the Griffith Company – Henkels & McCoy Team. Although Mission Critical’s team had not worked with Henkels & McCoy before this submittal, our team has worked with Griffith starting with our $300M win for the LAWA Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) Design-Build in 2016. The Project scope includes broadband installation on State Routes 2, 18, 58, 127, 138, 173, 189, 247, and 395 using trenching, plowing, Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), and direct-attach methods for structures, vault and hub construction, pavement, and landscaping rehabilitation.
Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative (MMBI) Program Summary
Middle-Mile Broadband Networks (MMBN) are open access, publicly owned, high-capacity fiber optic corridors connecting regional networks. Middle-Mile corridors connect to “last mile” broadband providers to connect homes, communities, businesses, and public institutions. Because middle-mile infrastructures use fiber optic rather than traditional copper lines, data transmission speeds and capacity significantly increase.
In July 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 156, which provided an initial $3.25 billion to build the necessary infrastructure to bring equitable high-speed broadband service to all Californians. Overall, California has committed a $7B investment over three years to expand broadband infrastructure across the state.
The Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative (MMBI) will cover 8,100 miles of new broadband conduit and fiber installation to connect underserved cities, tribal communities, and regions with last-mile providers.
The California Department of Technology (CDT) leads the overall statewide effort. Caltrans is managing the construction of the middle-mile infrastructure along state highways and rights of way using several approaches, including Job Order Contracting (JOC) and Construction Manager / General Contractor (CMGC). CDT’s goal is for 100% of the system to be under contract by May 2023. Caltrans is issuing 39 projects grouped into 18 locations using JOC and CMGC procurements. As of October 2022, Caltrans has released 60% of these contracts for bid.