BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — At a City Council Workshop held on August 31st, 2022, the Bakersfield City Council has provided consensus for staff to move forward with a license agreement with SiFi Networks, a New Jersey based telecom company, to build a citywide fiber optic network at no cost to the city.
SiFi has proposed to privately fund, design, construct, and maintain a citywide open-access network. The project would represent a $300 million dollar capital investment, according to a press release by the City of Bakersfield.
An open-access high-speed data network would allow internet service providers to offer up to 10-gigabit broadband connectivity for residential customers, and up to 100-gigabit connectivity for businesses. The SiFi network would be built with the option to connect all Bakersfield city facilities, residences, businesses, and institutions.
SiFi proposes to bring gigabit-level internet and data transfer speeds to every home and business located along public right-of-way within the city of Bakersfield without any economic expense to city taxpayers.
A license agreement with the city will be a non-exclusive license to access the public rights-of-way for the purpose of installing, operating, and maintaining the fiber optic network. SiFi would need to enter into separate license agreements for any additional facilities that may need to be installed on city owned property.
The license agreement between Bakersfield and SiFi Networks is for a term of 30 years with an option for one renewal for an additional 30 years. City of Bakersfield staff recommends the Council approve the lease agreement.