About MUFN

Metropolitan Unified Fiber Network (MUFN)

The Metropolitan Unified Fiber Network (MUFN) combined 15 Madison area groups to request a federal grant to improve network infrastructure between them. MUFN was awarded a $5.1 million grant by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) in the first round of the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

The MUFN project will offer wireline services via fiber optic strands consistent w/ the NTIA BTOP NOFA non-discrimination & network interconnection obligations. We support ubiquitous and pervasive network access that is open and affordable using open, standard protocols. MUFN supports network neutrality and will not limit, restrict, prioritize or otherwise hinder system users’ access to any lawful Internet content, applications or services of their choice except for reasonable system preservation purposes (e.g. security events). Rather, we offer services on a best effort basis with all services subject to the legal needs of law enforcement.

System users, at their full expense, will be permitted to connect their choice of hardware to dark fiber strands, provided such hardware does not adversely affect the use by and/or electronic or optronic equipment of other system users. MUFN project facilities will enable system users to connect to at least 10 Internet Service Providers providing countless applications and services at either of two locations in the MUFN service area. MUFN will prominently display non-discrimination, network management and interconnect policies on an organization website and provide notice of policy changes to system users.

UW-Madison operates a local, settlement-free peering exchange called MadIX (Madison Internet Exchange) at the same two locations identified as Internet connection points above. Service providers are invited to interconnect at layer 2 with 1 or 10Gbps Ethernet to both UW-Madison and to each other to improve community Internet service. Fourteen networks currently participate in this data exchange. As part of the MUFN project, UW will extend that invitation to MUFN system users such that a commercial entity could connect to MadIX to exchange traffic with other providers and provide service to MUFN system users. System users can also directly interconnect to service providers at their own expense and effort.

MUFN commits to providing wholesale access to network components (e.g. dark fiber) via a City of Madison agreement with Xiocom d/b/a Mad City Broadband (MCB). MCB will negotiate business arrangements, capacity limits, reasonable financial terms, and technical conditions for interconnect with requesting parties. We agree to submit to binding arbitration if such negotiations were to reach an impasse.

Other MUFN system interconnection and network management practices include:

  • Users must pay all initial and ongoing costs to connect to MUFN facilities
  • System users can request interconnect at MUFN system manholes, handholes, identified interconnection “wire serving or termination” locations and other splice points as determined by MUFN and designated in the course of negotiation
  • MUFN may route system user fiber through its facilities at MUFN’s sole discretion, provided such routing does not materially impact system user’s use of facilities
  • System users shall execute a separate agreement with reasonable terms and conditions for interconnection of MUFN facilities with a 3rd party facilities
  • MUFN, with 120 day notice and minimized disruption to system user, may at its sole option and full expense, substitute fiber on any fiber segment(s) or portions thereof with an equal number of alternative fiber of like quality and specifications without impact to other portions of an existing agreement
  • MUFN or its agents will be responsible for performing all “One Call” cable locates and fiber restoration activities and provide notification to system users via a 24x7 NOC