Pa. Turnpike installing fiber optic system, to lease extra capacity

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Turnpike dropped plans to install a statewide broadband system along the toll road with a private partner and lease excess space to private firms with communications needs because it couldn’t reach a deal.

Now, the turnpike is moving on its own to install a fiber-optic communication system in the eastern part of the state to meet its internal needs. But the turnpike hasn’t given up on the idea of generating revenue from the system and is designing it with extra space that it will solicit private operators to lease…

The turnpike uses its internal communication system for telephone service, radio communications among offices and maintenance workers, financial information such as toll collections, traffic cameras, electronic road signs and the turnpike computer network. But that system is near its capacity, especially in the eastern part of the state.