DENVER -- New Century Energies Inc., a holding company over several state power utilities and new communication subsidiaries, is partnering with Touch America Inc. (Butte, Mont.) to create an 18,000-mile fiber-optic network to challenge the new crop of fiber interexchange carriers (IXCs).
The two companies will aim their broadband network at corporate customers seeking mixed voice and data services at speeds ranging from T1 to 155-Mbit asynchronous transfer mode.
The network will link dedicated fiber the two energy companies have deployed in power-line rights-of-way, along with metropolitan networks in Denver and other major cities that the regional utilities used for internal communications.
Like many of the new IXCs, such as Level 3 Communications Inc. and Qwest Communications International Inc., the alliance of New Century and Touch America will serve as a bandwidth wholesaler, selling unused fiber capacity to other carriers and Internet service providers.
The current network cuts a broad swath through the northwestern half of the United States, stretching from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Los Angeles, with particularly high coverage in the Pacific Northwest.
A loop from Denver to Houston and back to Los Angeles is under construction, and further legs are planned to span to Jacksonville, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., New York City and Detroit.