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In a textbook public-private partnership deal, Florida Fiber Networks Inc. is allowing the state to use part of its planned 2,200-mile fiber optic cable network along Florida highways free of charge for 99 years.

The state values that concession at $1.2 billion.

In return, the company is being permitted to use public lands abutting major highways without prior approvals from local governments. No dollar figure has been placed on that favorable status.

Commercial real estate developers are monitoring the project closely for future development niches.

The network will take two years to build. Fiber optical cables will be installed in the rights of way of interstate highways and the Florida Turnpike. The network will also encircle all of the state’s metropolitan hubs.

The state plans to use the network for a variety of purposes, including digital road signs to route traffic more effectively. The network will also give the government a lead for advanced digital systems.

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