Fiber Leases & Right of Way Use

November 8th, 2023

Notice of Revised ROW Fee Structure and Upcoming Transportation Commission Meetings

Over the last several months, our Fiber Development Team has received valuable feedback from industry and government stakeholders regarding the implementation of a uniform and transparent fee-structure for accessing CDOT’s ROW as directed by Colorado Executive Order D-2022-0009 and Senate Bill 22-083.

The team has given thoughtful consideration to the feedback we’ve received and are committed to taking a creative and aggressive approach to our latest revised fee structure and rates.

CDOT proposes charging an annual property use surcharge consistent with the United States Forest Service methodology and a one-time upfront fee to cover permitting costs. This new method would cut the yearly fee by over 90% from our last proposal. 

Fee Structure.JPG

Urban Counties include: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld.

The Fiber Development Team is scheduled to brief the Transportation Commission on the subject matter next week at the November 15th TC Meeting and will request a resolution to adopt the fee structure at the December TC meeting.

In the meantime, we encourage all stakeholders to send us comments regarding this newly revised fee structure. Please send your comments directly to Allie Axley ([email protected]).  We are excited about moving forward with this greatly simplified process that will significantly reduce turnaround time and increase speed to service for industry wishing to access CDOT right of way for the deployment of broadband.  We invite you to attend next week’s Transportation Commission meetings and welcome your public comments!


Based on §43-1-1201 through §43-1-1209, C.R.S., Public-Private Initiatives Act, CDOT may consider unsolicited proposals that allow non-exclusive use to CDOT right of way (ROW) and/or leasing of excess CDOT dark fiber. CDOT is currently facilitating use to ROW and leasing of excess dark fiber, if available, and under certain terms and conditions, while adhering to Federal regulations and State statutes.  The following steps outline the standard pricing and cost frameworks, expected timelines, details about the application review process, and other requirements necessary to provide equal use to the ROW and excess CDOT dark fiber capacity for the deployment of wireline and wireless facilities.  

CDOT is constantly striving to improve the efficiency and productivity of these steps and processes. All updates or changes will be reflected on this web page.

Map of the existing, in construction, and proposed fiber optic

How do I gain use to CDOT rights of way and fiber leases?

  1. Per §43-1-1203, C.R.S., the department may consider an unsolicited proposal only if the proposal:
    1. Is innovative and unique;
    2. Is independently originated and developed by the proposer; (please put the proposal on your entity’s letterhead)
    3. Is prepared without department supervision;
    4. Is not an advance proposal for a known department requirement that can be acquired by competitive methods;
    5. Includes sufficient detail and information for the department to evaluate the proposal in an objective and timely manner and to determine if the proposal benefits the department.
  2. Please make sure the unsolicited proposal is signed by an authorized representative of the entity making the request.
  3. Consider this template for an unsolicited proposal:
    Unsolicited Proposal Template Example (Word)
  4. All unsolicited proposal requests submitted to CDOT become the property of CDOT and are subject to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). Proposers are advised to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the CORA. In no event shall the State, the Transportation Commission, or CDOT be liable to a proposer for the disclosure of all or a portion of an unsolicited proposal request submitted by the proposer.
    1. To initiate a request with CDOT please submit this uniform electronic application, including an upload of an unsolicited proposal: CDOT Fiber and ROW Inquires (Form)
  1. The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Branch will notify the requester that an unsolicited proposal was received within 2 weeks. 
  2. ITS evaluates the feasibility of the application, including capacity of infrastructure or project timeline concerns which may require field review or testing (varies 1-3 months)
  3. Per Procedural Directive 1504.2 CDOT's Fiber Management Team evaluates the unsolicited proposal by the following factors:
    1. Unique and innovative methods, approaches, or concepts demonstrated by the proposal;
    2. Scientific, technical, or socioeconomic merits of the proposal;
    3. Potential contribution of the proposal to the department’s mission;
    4. Capabilities, related experience, facilities, or techniques of the proposer or unique combination of these qualities that are integral factors for achieving the proposal objectives;
    5. Qualifications, capabilities, and experience of the proposed principal investigator, team leader, or key personnel who are critical in achieving the proposal objectives; and
    6. Any other factors appropriate to a particular proposal.
  4. If the request is for a dark fiber lease, ITS will generate a dark fiber lease quote for the partner to ensure the fee structure and cost are consistent with what the partner can move forward with.
    1. For reference, here is CDOT’s Dark Fiber Calculator  CDOT’s Dark Fiber Calculator (excel)
  5. The Department accepts the proposal if the proposal receives a favorable evaluation and if the department makes a written determination. 
  6. ITS will notify the requester of the evaluation, whether accepted or denied, in writing with clear reasons for approval and denial.
    1. Agreement Voting History:
      Fiber Oversite Committee Voting Results
  1. Once a favorable written determination is complete, ITS will work with the partner to generate a vendor number to conduct business with the State. (1-2 months)
  2. ITS will share the appropriate contract template with the partner. The partner will conduct the initial review and provide the template back with questions and proposed revisions. (Expected timeline: Dependent on partner)
  3. Once ITS receives a redlined version of the State contract template, ITS will initiate the necessary contracting process with the CDOT’s Center for Procurement & Contract Services who will shepherd the agreement through legal reviews and negotiations.

Here a a few helpful templates to complete this step: 

CDOT Master Task Order Contract Template (Word)

CDOT Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) Template (Word)

  1. CDOT will work with the partner entity to resolve redlines, complete legal, State Controller, and OIT reviews as needed to finalize the agreement document. 
  2. Both parties will sign the agreement to fully execute the partnership.
  1. ITS will initiate allocations of fiber as needed and introduce the partner entity to applicable CDOT stakeholders to implement any construction and project deliverables. Including the permitting process for construction activity and work within CDOT ROW. More information Utility & Special use permits can be found on the CDOT Permits - Utility & Special Use
  2. If applicable, ITS will initiate billing in accordance with the terms of the executed agreement.