Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

MnDOT Fiber Optic Infrastructure and RTMC Network Access Policy

MnDOT Policy #DM008
Revised: August 31, 2021

View/print signed policy (PDF)

Please go to the MnDOT Org Chart to find specific contact information: Org Chart.

Responsible Senior Officer: Deputy Commissioner/Chief Engineer
Policy Owner: RTMC Director of Traffic Operations
Policy Contact: RTMC Director of Traffic Operations and District Traffic Engineers

Policy statement

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) must manage the appropriate use of its resources. MnDOT’s Regional Transportation Management Center (RTMC) and District Traffic Offices are responsible for managing the MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure and the RTMC Network used for traffic management. Access to the fiber optic infrastructure and the RTMC Network are treated separately and access to MnDOT’s fiber optic infrastructure does not automatically include access to the RTMC Network. If it is of interest to MnDOT to create a partnership, a formal agreement will be developed between MnDOT and the partner. 

MnDOT Fiber Optic Infrastructure

Access to the MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure allows partners access to unused fibers where they can operate their own independent IT network.     

Access to MnDOT’s fiber optic infrastructure is limited to:

  1. Internal MnDOT projects
  2. Traffic- and transportation system maintenance and operations- related projects for which MnDOT is a partner
  3. Partnerships with a public agency or Tribal Nation in which:
    • the MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure benefits from additional routing or capacity; or
    • the MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure has spare capacity and the Public Agency or Tribal Nation partner provides additional resources to cover costs associated with the Public Agency or Tribal Nation partner’s use of the MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure, including, but not limited to, the costs for initial setup, operations, maintenance, and removal.
  4. Partnerships with a private entity in which:
    • the MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure benefits from additional routing or capacity;
    • both parties could benefit from co-location and dig-once opportunities; or
    • other MnDOT benefits related to the trunk highway system. 
    Allowing partnerships with a private entity takes into consideration changes in broadband deployment needed for the future of connected and automated vehicles (CAV) and other advancing transportation technologies. 

RTMC Network

Access to the RTMC Network allows partners direct access to the IT network that MnDOT uses to communicate between field devices and central systems.

Access to MnDOT’s RTMC Network is limited to:

  1. Internal MnDOT projects
  2. Traffic- and transportation system maintenance and operations- related projects for which MnDOT is a partner
  3. Partnerships with a public agency or Tribal Nation in which:
    • the Public agency or Tribal Nation traffic signal and ancillary equipment is connected to MnDOT’s central signal control software; and
    • the Public Agency or Tribal Nation partner provides additional resources to cover costs associated with the connection to the RTMC Network, including, but not limited to, the costs for initial setup, operations, maintenance, and removal.

Reason for policy

This policy is intended to provide clear direction for use of the MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure and the RTMC Network. It allows MnDOT to manage and fund the design, operation, security, and maintenance of the MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure and the RTMC Network, and comply with the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Applicability

All MnDOT employees must comply with MnDOT policies.

Key stakeholders with responsibilities under this policy include:

  • Requesters of MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure or RTMC Network access
  • Regional Transportation Management Center
  • Director of RTMC/District Traffic Engineers

Definitions

MnDOT Fiber Optic Infrastructure

The optical fiber communication infrastructure installed throughout the state highway system and managed by MnDOT.

MnDOT RTMC Network

The dedicated IT network that MnDOT uses to communicate with the ITS equipment within and around the state of Minnesota. 

Public Agency (Governmental Unit)

Includes every city, county, town, school district, service cooperative under section 123A.21, independent nonprofit firefighting corporation, other political subdivision of this or another state, another state, federally recognized Indian tribe, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, nonprofit hospitals licensed under sections 144.50 to 144.56, rehabilitation facilities and extended employment providers that are certified by the commissioner of employment and economic development, day and supported employment services licensed under chapter 245D, and any agency of the state of Minnesota or the United States, and includes any instrumentality of a public agency.

Instrumentality of a Public Agency

An entity, through which a function of a public agency is accomplished, that has independent policy-making and appropriating authority.

Tribal Nation

A unique, federally recognized political and legal entity that has a right to self-govern and possess self-determination (Executive Order 19-24). Tribal Nations are distinct from the definition of “stakeholder” because of the unique, government-to-government relationship they have with the State of Minnesota and the federal government. Minnesota is home to 11 federally-recognized Tribal Nations, namely: Bois Forte Band of Chippewa; Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe; Lower Sioux Indian Community; Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; Prairie Island Indian Community; Red Lake Nation; Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community; Upper Sioux Community; White Earth Nation.

Responsibilities

Requester of MnDOT Fiber Optic Infrastructure or RTMC Network Access

  • Ensure request fits within the requirements of this policy.
  • Contact the RTMC Director of Traffic Operations to request access while still in the planning phases for the project and before network equipment is purchased.
  • Work with RTMC Director or other MnDOT representative to enter into a formal agreement before work begins and network equipment is purchased.
  • Apply for a MnDOT permit to work within the right-of-way before work begins, if applicable.
  • Notify RTMC or District office when construction begins on the project or when a system is physically installed.  RTMC or District staff must approve installation before fiber optic infrastructure connections or RTMC network access are provided. 

Regional Transportation Management Center (RTMC)

  • Install and manage the MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure and the RTMC Network.
  • Provide technical support for fiber optic infrastructure and/or RTMC Network access.

District Traffic Engineers and RTMC Director for Metro District or designee

  • Review and approve requests for fiber optic infrastructure or RTMC Network access in respective District.
  • Manage existing access to ensure that formal agreements are up-to-date, and that access is removed when no longer needed.
  • If requester is a Tribal Nation, refer to the Tribal Nations Policy and Indian Country guidance to ensure compliance with Executive Order 19-24.
  • Depending on the request, work with MNIT or the Office of Chief Counsel to enter into a formal agreement with the requester, as needed.
    • If the request is from MNIT, RTMC staff will work with MNIT staff to ensure the access is documented within the existing formal agreement between MNIT and MnDOT RTMC.
    • If the requester is not MNIT, the RTMC Director or the District Traffic Engineer will work with the Office of Chief Counsel to enter into a formal agreement with the requester, as needed.
  • Ensure access to the RTMC Network is only provided to those IT applications that are required for the purposes of the project being requested.
  • Fulfill approved requests for access to the MnDOT fiber optic infrastructure or the RTMC Network.

Policy Owner (RTMC Director of Traffic Operations)

  • Review the policy every two years, or sooner as necessary, to ensure the policy remains up-to-date.  
  • Work with the Policy Coordinator to revise the policy and/or confirm its accuracy.
  • Communicate policy revisions, reviews, and retirements to stakeholders.

Resources and related information

Resources

History and updates

Adopted

July 9, 2004

Revised

  • First Revision: August 31, 2021 (also renumbered as #DM008)

Policy Review

This policy's next scheduled review is due August 2023.