SiFi Networks eyes rollouts in 30 cities as open access fiber gains traction

SiFi Networks appears to be riding high on a wave of momentum, announcing it expects to launch its 10 Gbps-capable open access fiber in 30 U.S. cities by the end of 2022.

Ben Bawtree-Jobson, SiFi’s CEO, told Fierce the company now has signed development agreements in place with 17 cities, up from 13 in May, and is in “active discussions” with a total of 100 cities. He added it expects its networks to be live in 10 cities by the end of this year, with that figure tipped to grow to 30 by end-2022 as more development agreements are signed. By 2023, SiFi believes deployments will be chugging along at a pace of 40,000 homes passed per month.

Already the company has launched service in Fullerton, California, and expects to bring Salem, Massachusetts and Placentia and Simi Valley, California online in Q1 or Q2 of next year. East Hartford, Connecticut and Saratoga Springs, New York are set to follow in Q2 or Q3 of 2022, Bawtree-Jobson said.

RELATED: SiFi Networks is building 10 Gbps open access fiber across U.S.

Work is being fueled by $2 billion in private funding, which Bawtree-Jobson will allow it to carry out its planned builds through the end of 2022. But he noted the dollar figure represents “a quarter of our own ambition as a business. So we’re anticipating getting to between $8 and $10 billion of capital deployed” over time.

Now that the company is beginning to spin up live markets, Bawtree-Jobson said SiFi is promoting an internet service provider partner program, which allows interested operators to sign up to provide enterprise class services over SiFi’s networks and receive RFPs to become a retail provider in its markets.

“We are doing more of an outreach to ISPs of all shapes and sizes,” the CEO explained. “We think that there’s just a huge amount of ISPs out there and WISPs as well that don’t know that our platform exists and that they have this fantastic opportunity to grow their businesses without the capital expenditure.”

SiFi is also debuting a FiberCity Aid program, which will provide subsidized symmetrical 1 Gbps internet service to low-income homes. Bawtree-Jobson said the company will work with each city to identify qualified homes and then offer a deeply discounted wholesale rate for ISPs serving those locations.