Telecom Waits, Hopes For Boost From Stimulus Funds

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | September 2009 Vol. 64 No. 9

"Quanta brings a depth of resources to the broadband industry, and we will work with our customers to deploy the appropriate networks and meet the overall goals of the stimulus program," he said. "The timing outlined by the proposed broadband stimulus program is aggressive. Potential recipients are proactively evaluating the process through which they award projects to ensure compliance with the time and budget parameters."

Trawick believes the aggressive timeframe has the potential to put a strain on supply, which will impact available resources to meet the timing goals. However, he said award recipients have the potential to minimize the length of the bid process by considering direct awards or negotiated contracts or by seeking a contractor that can provide services for more than one phase of the project."

"For example," he added, "combining the engineering and construction functions with one contractor would enable overlap of these two, traditionally independent, phases of construction and compress the deployment schedule."

Quanta Services is a leading provider of specialized contracting services, delivering end to end network solutions for the electric power, telecommunications and gas pipeline industries.

James Ezell, president of telecommunications contractor SDT Inc., believes the requirement to complete stimulus projects within 24 months from the date of funding will be a challenge.

"With aggressive programs, schedules and result expectations, recipients of these funds will surely require a comprehensive and cohesive team to meet the goals and withstand certain government and public scrutiny," said Ezell.

The use of conventional sequential delivery is effective only when time lines are more flexible, said Ezell. With a two year project completion window, the majority of the time could end up being spent on planning, designing and permitting, leaving very little time for the implementation. Simply increasing the number of construction crews is not the answer, he added.

SDT's answer is Integrated Project Delivery, a turnkey approach, combining engineering and design, right of way acquisition, construction and management services under a single cohesive group with reward/risk incentives for timely successful project completion, he explained.

"With the Integrated Project Delivery, stimulus project applicants can be assured that a cohesive team is working in full collaboration to meet the end results in a more timely and cost effective manner," said Ezell.