Simi Valley is the first city in Ventura County to have a fiber optic network started to provide faster internet speed for all its 47,600 homes and businesses, the city says.
SiFi Networks, based in Morristown, New Jersey, started construction of the 10-gigabit fiber optic underground network in December, City Manager Brian Gabler said Monday. The first customers are expected to be able to access it mid-year.
“We’re excited to enhance the quality and availability of internet access for all Simi Valley residents and businesses,” Mayor Keith Mashburn said in a statement. “Internet speeds and availability are a top priority when searching for real estate.
“This partnership with SiFi Networks will help attract and retain businesses in the city,” he said.
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Gabler said Simi Valley is the first city in the county to have construction of a fiber optic network.
SiFi has partnered with about a dozen municipalities in the country, dubbed FiberCities, to construct such networks. In California, Simi Valley is one of eight such cities, including Fullerton and Placentia, according to SiFi’s website, sifinetworks.com.
Fiber optic internet connects a local-area network to the internet using fiber optic technology instead of traditional copper cable, according to Spectrum, one of Simi Valley’s internet providers.
The city’s other Internet provider is AT&T, Gabler said.
There is no cost to the city or taxpayers to build the fiber network, Gabler said. Instead, SiFi Networks will finance, build, operate and maintain the network, he said.
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Construction of the network dates to April 2019, when the city began discussions with SiFi, which expressed an interest in building it at no cost to the city, according to a staff report.
The City Council approved an agreement with the company in February 2020.
Construction of the entire network could take up to two years, Gabler said.
Once it is ready, SiFi will contract with more than one internet service provider for the city, he said.
The company is dividing the city into about 20 work areas to install the network in roadways. Residents will be notified with a door hanger from SiFi’s contractor prior to construction in their area.
The city says it is critical that parked vehicles be taken off the streets before the noticed date. Any vehicles left on the street will be towed at the owner’s expense. Parking in driveways will be permitted.
Mike Harris covers the East County cities of Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, as well as transportation countywide. You can contact him at [email protected] or 805-437-0323.
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This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Faster internet speed coming to Simi Valley with fiber optic network