As seen in the June 6, 2011 COMPTEL Connection
Headquarters Location: 1521 N. Project Drive Tempe, AZ 85281-1206
Q: What does your company do and how long has it been in operation?
A: Based in Phoenix, SRP was established in 1903 as the nation’s first multipurpose reclamation project authorized under the National Reclamation Act by Theodore Roosevelt. SRP is comprised of two entities: the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District, a political subdivision of the state of Arizona; and the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association, a private corporation.
Today, SRP is the nation’s third-largest public power utility and one of Arizona’s largest water suppliers with nearly a million customers throughout a 2,900-square-mile service territory in central Arizona. For a century, SRP’s response to growth, community and environment has helped shape a desert landscape into the fifth largest thriving metropolitan area in the U.S. Diversification of services is one way SRP has met the challenge of population and industrial growth.
In addition to its water and power business, SRP Telecom supports the fundamental elements of modern communications services, including wireline broadband network and wireless site locations. SRP operates one of the largest fiber optic communications networks in Arizona. Concentrated in the Phoenix metropolitan area, we offer the market’s densest metropolitan area carrier’s carrier network.
Q: To what do you attribute your company’s success in the communications industry?
A: As a neutral carrier’s carrier, SRP Telecom offers the most geographically pervasive, uniquely distinct and physically separate, competitive fiber network in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Our fiber spans a 2,900-square-mile electric service territory transiting 15 cities placing customer’s locations within close proximity of our network backbone. As a result, we help customers maximize their investment and speed deployment time to market, regardless of evolving technology. The existing dark fiber network, vertical elements, site locations and rights of way provide the critical infrastructure needed to support network upgrades and intensive broadband requirements.
Q: What have been the biggest obstacles your company has faced in the marketplace?
A: Given the challenging economy, the high price of construction costs to build fiber laterals to off-network locations and relate them to customer expectations in circuit pricing has been a challenge and an opportunity. It allows us to continually look for more effective fiber lateral deployment methods that meet both the customers’ expectation around circuit pricing and deliver a reliable path protecting stringent service level assurances for quality of service.
Q: What do you see as your greatest challenges going forward?
A: A common challenge for most service providers is adapting to an ever changing network landscape with improvements from rapidly evolving technology. The advantage of having the physical critical components that make up the common network topology such as dark fiber, existing vertical elements and rights of way put us in a position to evolve with these changes quickly and make incremental investments on case by case basis or where market growth is beginning to develop.
Q: What have been some of your company’s most recent achievements (new customer wins, new service/product deployment, etc.)?
A: Residents and businesses in parts of rural Arizona Pinal and Gila counties will receive improved high-speed digital broadband service through a unique agreement between Salt River Project and a large cable service provider. SRP has leased the unused fiber optic cable that stretches more than 150 miles from Phoenix to a Globe operation center. SRP’s infrastructure already exists because it provides electric service and telemetry to its Pinal substation, which delivers power to the Eastern mining area. Because of the distance and rugged geography separating the Globe area from metropolitan Phoenix, the cost to construct a new fiber network to service these communities by any other carrier would be highly cost prohibitive. The arrangement enables the provider with a robust platform that carries broadband services to support rural Arizona communities to encourage economic development, growth and sustainability in these outlying areas.
Q: Why is it important for your company to be a COMPTEL member?
A: COMPTEL is invaluable because it fosters an open market place where networking and business relationships are formed, bringing with it the most recent developments, trends and regulatory information in the telecommunications industry. As a member, the twice-annual COMPTEL PLUS tradeshows have always been an important event for SRP because it helps us establish new contacts and demonstrate the importance of how an existing critical utility network is well equipped to handle their market expansion plans and satisfy their requirements for disaster recovery, reliability and continuity.