Pipe Companies Running Telecom Cable
El Paso Energy Communications Co., a subsidiary of Houston-based
El Paso Energy; Touch America, a subsidiary of The Montana Power
Co.; and PF.Net LLC of Vancouver, a privately held company, plan to
launch a $150 million project to create a long-haul fiber-optic
network linking Los Angeles and Houston.
The route, spanning 1,500 miles, will initially provide new
connectivity and advanced telecommunications services to several
growing metropolitan areas along the southwestern route, including
Phoenix, Tucson, and El Paso, in addition to Los Angeles and
Houston. The project is scheduled for completion in 2000.
Touch America and El Paso Energy Communications are partnering
for a one-half interest in the route. Touch America is providing
construction management for this segment of the project, while El
Paso Energy is providing right-of-way.
PF.Net is responsible for constructing the other half of the
route, whose owners are PF Telecom, headed by John Warta, and Koch
Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, which is
the second largest private company in the United States. Koch
Industries has committed its 57,000 miles of right- of-way to
Monday Columbia Transmission Communications (CTC), a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Energy Group, unveiled plans to
begin building the initial leg of its telecommunications network
(See Daily GPI June 15, 1999). The initial leg of the overall route
will extend 260 miles from New York City to Washington D.C. using
Columbia Gas Transmission's right-of-way. It will be capable of
providing voice, data and video signal access to 16 million people.
The company is developing plans to extend this network to 2,500
route miles with direct access to 35 million people throughout the
eastern United States, including lines to Cleveland, Cincinnati and
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