SiFi's $35M FiberCity Project to build open-access network in CA

SiFi Networks will go live with the first neighborhood in its Placentia FiberCity Project where homes and businesses will gain access to the company’s all-fiber open access network.

The project, which will cost around $35 million, is privately funded by SiFi Networks and will eventually provide access to some 20,000 locations in Placentia, California. Placentia FiberCity project will be constructed with no cost to taxpayers, as is the case with all of SiFi Networks’ fiber builds in the U.S.

Marcus Bowman, SiFi Networks’ community relations manager said the company is now in the installation phase of the project and is “ramping up crews to meet demand.”

SiFi Networks is known for its privately funded open-access fiber networks across the U.S., all of which fall under its FiberCity Project umbrella. In June the company announced its $200 million Rockford FiberCity project in Illinois.

The company's open access networks offer speeds up to 10 Gbps.

Many providers are working to provide faster residential speeds in the U.S., with larger companies like Google Fiber and Lumen Technologies trotting out symmetrical 8 Gbps broadband tiers in cities across the country. Some jurisdictions are ahead of the game with citywide 25-gig service.

Open access networks have gained popularity for changing the way cities receive broadband. SiFi’s open-access business model allows multiple service providers to tap into its network to deliver their services, a collaborative model that has helped give consumers a choice of providers.

Some in the industry have lauded the open access model for being less disruptive for communities, as they don’t have to endure multiple companies digging up streets to deploy fiber.

But others have warned that companies considering open access builds should understand that the model requires fairly high capex, and it can take longer to see return on investment than typical network infrastructure investments.

Still, open access networks can be seen as a win-win for the communities and providers they serve. Service providers that lease an open access network might not see high margins, but operating through that model presents lower risk.

And according to SiFi, this enables the fastest speeds at the most competitive prices for consumers.

Of the FiberCity Project, Placentia’s Mayor Pro Tem Yamaguchi said, “By fostering this digital infrastructure, we are fostering a more resilient, prosperous, and interconnected Placentia. Our partnership with SiFi Networks demonstrates the power of collaboration and innovation in serving the greater good.”