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Pico Rivera Will Provide High Speed Internet Access for the Entire City

 January 26, 2022

Access will improve educational opportunities, provide options for remote schooling and remote work, support competitiveness for existing businesses, and promote economic development

 Residents of the City of Pico Rivera will soon have access to high speed internet access courtesy of the City. The selected developer for delivering Citywide Fiber Optic to all residences and businesses within the community is SiFi Networks (SiFi). The overall construction project will result in the installation of approximately 260 Miles of fiber optic cable throughout the City. There will be no cost to the City in the design and construction of the fiber optic network, however the city will provide the customary permitting including plan review and inspection of all installations and contract provisions will require SiFi to reimburse the City for all costs associated with the project.

 SiFi Networks will provide all funding to design, construct and operate a fiber optic system that will be available to all properties (residential and commercial) within the City. It is estimated that this will be a $50 – $60 Million investment over a period of 5 years.

 “This is a major step to bringing about opportunity, access and equity for the residents of Pico Rivera,” said Dr. Monica Sanchez, mayor of the City of Pico Rivera.  “High speed internet access is a critical piece of infrastructure which improves educational opportunities for residents, allows options for remote schooling and remote work, supports competitiveness for existing businesses, and promotes economic development.”

“One of the most requested services I’ve heard from residents has been for high speed internet access,” said Councilmember Gustavo Camacho. “We have now moved forward in providing that request for the entire city.In addition to helping to bridge the digital divide and becoming a communication tool during a potential disaster, high speed internet access can send a signal to the region that Pico Rivera is informed forward-thinking, and ready to welcome positive change.”

 An increasing number of Americans are factoring in internet service costs and access when considering where to move. In order to help retain and attract residents, small cities across the country have created their access to high speed internet service. In recent years, many cities have started to take a look at how they can offer home internet access as a utility service.

 The risk of not pursuing a comprehensive broadband strategy became abundantly apparent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The citywide network will help to close the digital divide in the city and the open access network will allow for multiple service providers to use the network to offer more choice to consumers.

 This agreement does not prevent any other service providers from installing their own citywide fiber optic networks or expanding their existing fiber infrastructure and providing a similar service. From an economic development perspective, the concept of a privately funded and managed citywide fiber network is a significant opportunity for strengthening the City’s competitive advantage for retaining and attracting businesses, jobs, and private investment into our community. The network will also be the backbone for the city to thrive, boosting economic development by retaining and attracting new businesses.

 Local businesses with access to high-speed Internet service will be able to create a bigger market for their goods and services, driving the success of the community. When a local community’s businesses thrive, that community’s residents also benefit. From more government funds for better community services, to more job opportunities, residents can see the fruits of local business successes.

 Internet access has also become crucial for schools because it expands on the educational resources available to schools. Schools can also help parents better connect with students by encouraging parents to take interest in what their children are studying. Parents and children can also stay on top of grades and future project due dates with the information that school websites and tools allow them to access.

 With the rise in Internet-connected technology, educational opportunities have grown as well, from the possibility of online homeschooling to continuing education for adults, there is a wealth of educational opportunities created by the presence of the Internet – particularly high-speed Internet service.

 Additionally, residents can be informed of weather patterns and any natural disaster or other safety alerts. With high-speed Internet service, residents can quickly get the information they need to stay safe. Local government and law enforcement can also send out information quickly over the Internet, so that all residents remain safe and informed.

 SiFi will own the backbone infrastructure but is not an ISP. Maintenance and repair of the physical fiber network is wholly the responsibility of SiFi. Residents and businesses will have the option to continue with their existing ISPs or seek subscriptions with providers who have leased fiber from SiFi and receive a fiber service drop directly into their homes or businesses.