BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — This week, the Bakersfield City Council approved an agreement first proposed by telecom provider SiFi Networks in August to build and maintain a citywide, high-speed, fiber optic data network that will serve both businesses and residents.
According to City of Bakersfield Public Information Officer Joe Conroy, the agreement specifies that SiFi Networks will be responsible not just for building, but for the long-term maintenance of a fiber optic data network at no cost to the city or taxpayers.
Conroy says the investment amounts to around $300 million dollars.
SiFi has installed similar citywide data networks in nine other states, including Farmington Hills, Michigan, Arlington, Texas, and Saratoga Springs, New York.
Conroy explains that the benefits of having the new high-speed data network extend to both the residents and the businesses in Bakersfield. More people are working from home and relying on internet tools like email and Zoom. In addition, medical devices, phones, GPS systems, and equipment used by law enforcement will all benefit from additional high-speed data access in Bakersfield.
Conroy says he believes having the new high-speed network will put Bakersfield “ahead of the curve” in relation to cities where a network like the one SiFi is agreeing to build isn’t available.
The agreement was accepted with the unanimous consent of the City Council on Wednesday.