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The City of Salem signed a contract attracting over $35 million in private investment to create a citywide, fully fiber-based broadband network.
FREMONT, CA :- The city of Salem signed a contract attracting over $35 million in private investment to create a citywide, fully fiber-based broadband network to enable its citizens to reap the benefits of 100 percent fiber-optic internet.
The network will be developed by SiFi Networks and its construction partners, a fiber infrastructure developer. SiFi Networks will fund the project entirely on its own, with no taxpayer assistance. With projects like this, the organization intends to change the US broadband model by operating citywide networks that can be used by several service providers, mobile carriers, and even the municipality itself.
SiFi Networks presently has agreements to fund, build, and operate fiber optic networks with cities in six different states. The organization has dedicated an initial $450 million in capital for the following months, with availability to an unlimited pool of infrastructure capital to expand the strategy to hundreds of cities over the next few years.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will also profit from a shared network as they will run their services on cutting-edge fiber without incurring the expense of building and maintaining their infrastructure.
“We’re excited that SiFi and their team will be starting construction on their high-speed fiber network this spring,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “Having a high-speed fiber internet alternative can improve the quality of life for residents, spur greater economic growth and facilitate the installation of smart city technologies. Enhancing access and options for high-speed internet is especially essential during our response and recovery from COVID-19, as we strive to close the digital divide, help more residents access vital online services for work, education and family connections, and simply provide greater choices for our residents and businesses.”
Ben Bawtree-Jobson, CEO of SiFi Networks, explained that these benefits would extend to the whole community, “Traditionally, service providers who are also infrastructure providers look for a quick return on investment, so they tend to limit the construction of fiber networks to areas with a higher density of wealthy consumers.
“This has exacerbated the country’s staggering digital divide. SiFi Networks has a different business model. We are interested in long-term investments, so we build citywide. We believe that excellent connectivity helps level the playing field.”
“SiFi Networks has already identified more than 200 cities that could become FiberCities® in the future and bring fiber to over ten million households across the US,” said Bawtree-Jobson. “We are excited about changing America’s telecommunications landscape and eliminating the digital divide wherever we build our FiberCities®.”