As a division of InSite Wireless Group, Agile Network Builders is in charge of forming public/private partnerships and connectivity services, providing its customers with a package of siting solutions on macrotowers, DAS and roof tops. In its first transaction since joining InSite three months ago, Agile has created a new partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of General Services to rent excess and underutilized wireless capacity on towers, land and assets owned by the state of Pennsylvania.
“It really helps our anchor customers, like the carriers, to achieve a quicker time-to-market with the involvement of fewer parties and a quicker on-air time,” Agile President Kyle Quillen said.
Agile is now an operating entity owned by InSite Wireless Group, an owner, developer, operator and manager of wireless towers and in-building DAS.
“The Pennsylvania contract didn’t happen overnight,” Quillen said. “It was a long and detailed procurement process. Agile had been negotiating the deal for some time before it was purchased by inSite, which now will bring its resources and expertise to the table, so we can maximize the revenue generation for Pennsylvania.”
Agile is hardly new to public/private partnerships, having worked in Ohio since 2010 with governments at the state, county and municipal levels.
“I think that is one of the reasons Pennsylvania was attracted to us,” Quillen. “We have the expertise and a track record of success working with agencies and leveraging public infrastructure for monetization and expansion of services.”
Through various public partnerships, Agile has connected more than 500 public safety tower sites across Ohio. The hybrid Agile network uses vertical infrastructure along with fiber and wireless technologies to provide data solutions to wireless carriers, among others.
“We built a network in Ohio and we, hopefully will bring that same solution to Pennsylvania in order to drive lease up opportunities across the board,” Quillen said. “We look forward to success as a steward of public infrastructure and a partner tasked with an awesome responsibility.”
Ranked sixth largest in term of population and nine in terms of density, Pennsylvania has a great deal of infrastructure in place.
“It is a large state in a number of ways, which is a positive in showing an example to other large organizations of what can be accomplished. This is absolutely do-able to engage the private sector with public agencies in a win-win scenario,” Quillen said. “Pennsylvania had the foresight and the willingness to go somewhere that few have ventured into, yet.”
Other states have entered into public/private partnerships with telecom companies, but none of those agreement have been as comprehensive as the Pennsylvania contract.
“What is unique about what we have done is we’ve opened up a broad subset of Pennsylvania state infrastructure both in service and operational today, as well as undeveloped lands and assets. That creates a different kind of asset base, which can be leveraged for a variety of purposes,” Quillen said. “We think we have a good model that other states can learn from and we stand ready to help them.”
The creation of the Office of Enterprise Wireless Management is the result of a 2016 study by the Wolf Administration and a Pennsylvania research university that reviewed the state’s wireless communications infrastructure and benchmarked the value of excess and underutilized wireless capacity on those assets to serve as a viable new revenue stream for Pennsylvania.
The newly established Office of Enterprise Wireless Management within the Pennsylvania Department of General Services and Agile will enhance telecommunications systems, consolidate the management of wireless assets, and generate revenue for the state.
The process of marketing preexisting space on state-owned towers and telecommunications assets also will streamline the process of locating broadband equipment on assets across Pennsylvania. This market-based initiative will lower barriers to entry for all market participants and may further promote broadband expansion using those towers and telecommunication assets located in remote and rural areas.
“This development by the leadership in Pennsylvania is an important and proactive step in an on-going effort to ensure all residents, in every part of the state, have better access to wireless services,” Quillen said. “We’re excited to partner with Department of General Services and the Office of Enterprise Wireless Management to utilize our expertise in municipal and government telecommunications, ensuring the right solutions are implemented in markets across the state.”
July 16, 2015 — Public safety tower sites are a breed apart. Tasked with providing uninterrupted communications used to save lives, these communications facilities are usually closed off from the outside world. An Ohio-based telecom firm that engineers and operates carrier-grade networks is changing that.
Agile Networks has established a statewide, open-access, 1-gigabit backhaul network, where public safety is the anchor tenant, but the towers are being marketed to wireless carriers, M2M providers and industrial enterprises. Agile Networks has access to existing public safety towers, as well as some commercial towers, in a network that consists of 270 towers throughout Ohio and a presence in all 88 counties.
“Having a statewide network that can deliver broadband connectivity throughout Ohio including hard to reach rural communities is what we have been working toward,” said Kyle Quillen, chief technical officer and founder of Agile Networks. “The inclusive nature of our approach has allowed us to rapidly bring together disparate resources to transform telecommunications for public safety here in Ohio.”
The design and engineering phase of this infrastructure began in spring 2011. A year later, Agile Networks crafted a master service agreement with the State of Ohio to deliver carrier-class Ethernet services to both state and local government locations.
Agile has deployed hundreds of RADWIN 5000 point-to-multipoint and RADWIN 2000 point-to-point microwave systems. Every tower will have redundant eastbound and westbound microwave paths, creating a backhaul ring, which has fiber injection points in either direction. Microwave will be used to transport traffic from wireless base stations to the network aggregation points, at which wireless traffic will be shifted to fiber networks.
The resulting network now connects four Ohio natural gas refining plants and the home office in Durango, Colorado, of M3 Midstream, an energy company that serves oil and gas producers. Old Forge Services, a transportation services company based out in rural Mogadore, Ohio, now has high-speed broadband using Agile.
In the public safety space, Agile replaced failing radio tie lines (RTNA circuits) at that Gallia County 911 center with Level 2 Ethernet Connectivity.