Fiber Design and Construction

Fiber Design and Construction

“The city’s vision is to provide a world-class community telecommunications infrastructure to Boulder for the 21stCentury and beyond. Broadband connectivity is a critical infrastructure service for quality of modern life, as is the case with roads, water, sewer and electricity.”

Project Information

Industry Sector

Design Engineering





The City of Boulder, CO is an innovative city with many diverse needs for connectivity, from traffic signalization to public housing, to smart utilities to next-generation broadband. The City needed a comprehensive engineering design for a citywide fiber backbone to expand on the City’s original fiber network that was installed nearly 15 years ago. The City’s objectives were to build this new network to meet the needs of the City and community over the next 10-15 years, with special focus on how building the fiber backbone could create a foundation for residential fiber to the home broadband services. The City needed an engineering partner with specific experience in municipal fiber and broadband services and in 2019, Magellan was retained to develop the design.


In 2019, Magellan first conducted a comprehensive review of departmental needs within the City, including transportation, public works, public housing, police and fire, utilities, information technology and open space mountain parks. Through this assessment, over 200 new City-owned sites were identified to be connected to fiber. Magellan developed the full engineering design package and optimized the fiber backbone to support fiber to the home distribution, to support broadband programs that the City would consider in the future. Our unique design lowered the bar for deployment of new fiber to the home by reducing the cost to build this infrastructure. We also found miles of unused City conduit during the design process, which we integrated into the final engineering design, saving the City approximately $1 million in new construction. We provided detailed fielding, utility assessment, permitting, make-ready, prints, costing and as-builts for each phase of construction. To enable seamless deployment of the network, the City also selected Magellan to manage construction, given our deep experience constructing municipal fiber and our collaborative approach with the City’s internal departments.


Today, the first two phases of construction are complete. Over the next 24 months, Magellan will manage the construction of the remaining 50 miles of fiber, connect 114 traffic signals, 23 public housing sites, 2 data centers, 7 towers and 25 other city facilities. Over this time, it will lead to significantly improved capabilities for the City’s departments and a new fiber resource to support future broadband applications for residents and businesses.

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